For Elmarie Botes, White Winemaker at Nederburg Wines, it is now week three of harvest and things are in full swing on the white wine production. “To say we are busy is an understatement!”, says Elmarie.
“We have harvested about a third of our total tonnage on the white wine side with a variety of cultivars and fermenting aromas filling the cellar space with the annual harvest perfume”. At the moment, the predominant aromas you smell in the cellar is that of Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay. As grapes tend to ripen faster in hotter areas, the varieties that are still outstanding for picking are from the cooler areas – but not for long.
“After tasting these berries and looking at the analysis, I think that those grapes will be making their way to the cellar sooner rather than later…”, adds Elmarie.
As a general trend across the Libertas vineyards, harvest 2020 is happening at a much faster pace than previous years. This could be partly due to the long-lasting effects of the drought, as well as the fierce African sun ripening the grapes faster this summer.
When reflecting on her current cellar experiments taking place at the moment, Elmarie notes that she is playing around with low sulphur dioxide Chenin blanc and natural fermented Chenin blanc in amphoras.
“We are really pleased with the juice we have in the cellar thus far – it is bursting with aromas and flavours and is much more tropical this year when compared to last year”, she ends.
We wish Elmarie all the best as she makes her way through the apex of white wine season!