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Kicking Our Heels in Stellenbosch

Ken Forrester is waiting eagerly to see the first lug boxes come in with grapes to be crushed.
2009 Southern Harvest Winemakers
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Posted: Feb 11, 2009 6:04pm ET

By Ken Forrester

Posted by Ken Forrester

Welcome, from warm, windy Stellenbosch, where just a few producers have started their 2009 harvest. Typically, the early fruit would include Sauvignon Blanc and Pinotage, and any time now, the first Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay will be coming in.

By all accounts, it has been a cool year—even cooler than last year—with late spring rains that turned into almost perfectly timed, intermittent summer showers. All this perfect weather and the almost ideal growing conditions have produced a magnificent canopy and a slightly larger-than-average crop waiting to benefit from the abundant growth.

Certainly this is a most promising vintage sitting on the vines, as we take our daily samples and readings and walk through the rows checking ripeness and tasting bunches. We're looking at the ripeness on the pips and feeling the sharp natural acidity of what may yet turn out to be one of our very best vintages. It's a really exciting time as we watch and wait, just bursting to see the first lug boxes being tipped onto sorting tables and the grapes going to the destalker/crusher.

So, from the cool shadow of the Helderberg, in which our team is impatiently walking through the vines looking for uneven fruit whilst they kick their heels, our greetings. In the meantime, look out for some of the great South African wine values on store shelves right now. Please share your tasting notes and make some shelf space for the great wines coming.

We will be back soon, hopefully before the weekend, with reports about some busy yeast cultures and fermenting musts.

Cheers for now,

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