Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Vineyard Hotel's historic, second Harvest

Everyone knows that journalists stay up late partying and don’t do early mornings.  Not true.  Once again this summer we were up and at the Vineyard Hotel by 7am to take part in the historic second harvest of the grapes from their small vineyard in the gardens on the side of the Liesbeek river.
Welcomed by a great glass of bubbly and some orange juice to take the motes from our eyes
We marvelled at the amount of good healthy and ripe grapes this year. Obviously affected by the long wet winter and the nice warm summer days we have been having. The grapes had to be netted to prevent the birds from decimating the crop
Last year we had precisely one bunch of grapes on our vine, this year there were at least 20
Mike Bampfield Duggan of Wine Concepts with his vine
General Manager of the Hotel Roy Davies and Food and Beverage Manager Matt Dietchmann were there to shepherd us through the picking
Brian Cluver from Warwick helps Mike remove the nets so we can all get picking and in the background Norma Ratcliffe and Lynne remove the clips that tie the netting down
Norma Ratcliffe, who will be making the wine this year for the Vineyard, begins the picking; it's backbreaking work, but we didn’t exactly have acres of vines to work on.
Lynne gets down to picking our grapes as well as the rest of the row.
Healthy ripe and sweet Sauvignon Blanc grapes picked from the front rows. At the back of the vineyard there are three rows of Semillon
Norma with the lug boxes full of grapes going off to the press at Warwick
The hotel garden staff help to take the heavy lug boxes to the van, supervised by Warwick’s viticulturist Ronald Spies
Then we were rewarded with a lovely breakfast spread in the restaurant
Lynne and Kitty Petousis, owner of the Vineyard Hotel, trying to make healthy but hungry choices
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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