A WORD FROM THE WINEMAKER
We have reached the end of our 2022 harvest; and as I sit down to write this, we are busy pressing the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon tanks and taking the wine to barrel. The wines completed fermentation on the grape skins and underwent an additional week of post-fermentation maceration. Now we will drain the wine from the tanks to barrel and press the remaining grape skins in our hydraulic basket press. All of our red wines are transferred to barrel to undergo malo-lactic fermentation and will thereafter remain in barrels for 18 months, as they mature, develop and unlock the full potential of a very successful 2022 harvest.
The harvest kicked off extremely late, on 28 February 2022, with the first Sauvignon Blanc grapes and although we hoped to complete the harvest before the Easter weekend, this turned out to be an impossible task. But one for which we are extremely grateful! We finally picked the last batch of Cabernet Sauvignon on 19 April 2022, allowing the final two Cabernet vineyards to benefit from a few extra days of sunshine over Easter. Cabernet Sauvignon is a variety that generally struggles to bear large yields of grapes in a cool-climatic region such as Constantia, but this vintage we have had a fantastic crop of this variety in particular, both in terms of quality and quantity!
We had a similar experience with the Sauvignon Blanc vineyards this year, so it was in fact a fruitful vintage for the sauvignon varieties of both white and red. The abundant harvest was a result of beautifully plump bunches that were typically 50% heavier than the past couple of years. This probably being a result of perfect conditions in the preceding winter, as well as optimal conditions during the flowering stage in the late Spring/early Summer of 2021 that gave rise to well-formed bunches.
It is worth mentioning that the quality of grapes was tremendous in 2022. Ripening conditions were optimal with very little disease pressure, so the grapes were able to fully ripen, and the long ripening season typically allows for more complex flavor development and excellent depth of flavour. We are therefore very excited to see how the wines mature and develop as we continue the journey from grape to bottle.
The first wines from the 2022 vintage that we will be getting ready to bottle will be the Constantia Saddle White and Rosé. We recently sold out of our extremely popular Rosé, so now that all fermentations are complete we will turn our efforts towards getting the Rosé ready for bottling and back into your wine glasses in the near future.