Thursday, February 25, 2016

Harvesting the grapes at The Vineyard Hotel

Picking grapes (and falling on face) at The Vineyard
It was time to harvest the grapes from our vine and some others at The Vineyard Hotel on Friday and we had to get up bright and early to get there by 07h30. Despite the strange el Nino weather this year, the vineyard produced some lovely grapes and it will be very interesting to see how good the wine is in future years. It will be vinified by Waterford this year. Winemaker Mark Le Roux says they will do their utmost to make the best single vineyard wine. We all delivered 135kg of healthy grapes from a very challenging site alongside the Liesbeek River. 89kg of Sauvignon Blanc and 46kg of Semillon
Hotel General Manager Roy Davies welcoming the pickers
The lug boxes awaiting the grapes
Kevin Arnold of Waterford wines talking about the harvest they will work with. Each row is sponsored by a different winery and they take turns in making the wine
Three girls from Waterford with winemaker Mark Le Roux
An early morning welcome glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel MCC awaited us, Fresh orange juice for those who can't drink this early
Roy giving us our instructions
Jacqueline Harris is now the Sales Manager at Klein Constantia. Her husband, Craig, is Klein Constantia's viticulturalist
Kevin topping up the glasses. Shortly after this Lynne tripped over the end of row wire and knocked all the wine out of herself. She is fine, no bruises but a few aches
Our very fruitful vine. The bunches are not as large as last year's, but tasted superb
Getting down under the vine canopy to pick
Mark joins us on the row
A filled lug box of healthy grapes
The growing harvest
Libating it with some MCC
Owner of the Vineyard Lex Petousis, winemaker Mark Le Roux of Waterford and Roy Davies, GM of the Vineyard Hotel, with this year's grapes
Headman, gardener and guardian of the vineyard
The three rows of Chardonnay grapes we planted last season are growing well. These will only be ready to harvest in a couple of years time, when they are more robust
A view of the vineyard
Taking the grapes to the Waterford van
loading them for a fast delivery to the press
Reward for all the hard work was a lovely Vineyard breakfast
Something for everyone. Cold meats, smoked salmon, fruit muesli, yoghurt, pastries, cheese, croissants, rusks and bread, good coffee, tea, juice and some wine if you wanted
Hungry pickers
Time to relax and chat about wine and harvests
Deep in conversation are Eddie Turner, Ndaba Dube, Matt Dietschmann and Francois-Jacques Malan
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus












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