With grapes now safely in the wineries albeit with social distancing regulations in place during picking, here are a some initial thoughts about the 2020 vintage from some of our producers:
BIRD IN HAND: After the hot and dry November and December we have had very moderate conditions in January and February, and at this mid-way point in the vintage we are extremely pleased with the quality of grapes we are receiving, with the early wines looking excellent.
DARLING CELLARS: A short, bumper vintage. Sauvignon Blancs are showing beautifully, while Chenin Blancs from the old, unirrigated vines are looking amazing. Reds are showing good colour and soft, elegant tannins.
ESCARPMENT: An absolutely stunning vintage. Great, clean, ripe grapes from correctly loaded vines. Our earliest every harvest start.
GLENELLY: The 2020 harvest was both excellent in terms of volume and quality. We finished harvest nine days ahead of schedule as the later ripening varietals came in earlier than usual. We managed to get easy extraction and the tannins are really fine on the reds. On the Chardonnays we managed phenolic ripeness at lower sugar levels. Altogether it looks like a very good vintage.
GREYSTONE: Vintage is looking great so far – beautiful clean fruit, bunches are a little small from a warm dry year so expect some firm tannins and good concentration especially in the Pinot Noir. We have eight fermenters outside at the last count so looking good to produce our reserves and Vineyard Ferment this year. Crops will be a little lower than peak but much better than last year and quality up there with the best we’ve ever handled.
KANONKOP: Throughout the season the different grape varietals were picked between 7 and 10 days earlier than normal. Both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were picked at lower sugar levels than the long-term average, which will result in wines with elegant structures and moderate alcohol levels. The crop was only slightly bigger than the small 2019 harvest, but the overall small berry size will deliver wines with intense flavour and aromatic spectrums. We obtained beautiful ripe tannins throughout the season, and we expect that the 2020 vintage will deliver elegant, classic wines with extended ageing potential.
RUSTENBERG: 2020 has been super. The crop is up for most varietals and the vintage is around 15% larger than average so a welcome year as we recover from the drought years of the past. Quality wise we have superb acids and more moderate alcohols in the white wines and wonderful fruit concentration in the reds with good colour and again moderate alcohols; so 2020 is a good vintage by our estimations quality wise, whether it is a great vintage will be seen in the coming months.