How to Farm in a Drought
By Donald Mouton, our Farm Manager
Unfortunately, our annual rainfall in 2017 was again way below par at 292mm. Luckily, our Suid-Agter Paarl irrigation scheme was very fortunate to pump winter water that was just going to flow into the sea from the Berg river. This gave me the opportunity to irrigate our vineyards in the late winter and build up some reserve in the soil. We could also fill up our dams before all pumping from the river was stopped as the water restrictions tightened this summer.
We were thus able to irrigate our vineyards during the season and fortunate to have a crop that is looking good in quantity and quality. The bunch count per vine this season is much higher than the 2016/17 season.
Harvest started 12 days later than in 2017, we started by harvesting Red Muscadel on the 24th of January and on the 25th we hand selected the first Viognier for Stephanie’s Fairview Brut MCC bubbly.
Up to date, we have harvested all the white cultivars and even though the bunch counts were higher, the bunches are small and light and on average we are down on yield by about 25%.
The Pinotage is up in yield and Anthony is very much impressed with the first wine made from the Pinotage bush vines.
I’ll keep you posted on the harvest, hold thumbs that all the reds are up in yield!