BOSCHENDAL 2017 – UNUSUAL VARIETIES' TIME TO SHINE

Harvest Report 17

Boschendal sources grapes mainly from the Boschendal vineyards in Franschhoek and from suppliers in Somerset West and Stellenbosch. The crush started on 9 January and finished on 10 April. In fact, as group winemaker JC Bekker remembers, it was mostly done and dusted by mid-March. “We tripled the intake for Boschendal’s rose-gold Chardonnay Pinot Noir blend that has grown hugely in sales volume, and we took some of the pressure off the cellar by handling some of the load up the road at Franschhoek Cellar.”

Red wine maker at Boschendal, Richard Duckitt, confirms that the harvest began very early. “It was shorter than in 2016, and once again most of our vineyards and those that we source from were reaching full ripeness at the same time. Over 60% of our harvest took place during a period of two weeks, one of which was a really crazy time – lots of late nights and one stint that went on until 3am, with trucks bringing in grapes from as far afield as Elgin or Darling.”

Duckitt is upbeat. “I’ve heard winemakers say that 2017 is okay, fairly good, above average, but for Boschendal, I feel that this year is a really good vintage. Amazing! We’re looking at riper styles, big wines but still with an element of freshness. Drought can sometimes have a positive influence on quality. If not too extreme, warm and dry can result in interesting wines.”

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