With our 2023 Harvest complete, we wanted to provide you with a brief summary of the vintage here at Beyerskloof, along with some thoughts from our Winemaker, Anri Truter.
We experienced an unusually dry Winter and Spring but still had some normal cold units. Budding of the vineyards started slightly earlier than normal due to a warmer-than-normal start to Spring, which provided ideal growing conditions until the end of the year.
Rainfall and Disease Pressure
December offered some much-needed rain which helped with vineyard water level reserves prior to harvest. The tricky part in December and January was controlling and preventing higher than normal disease pressure.
Harvest started a week earlier than last year at Beyerskloof with Pinotage and Pinot Noir being the first grapes picked. February was crunch time and flew by as everything seemed to be ripe at the same time, with all the Pinotage harvested already in the cellar end of February.
Late Cultivars and Tough Calls
More, greatly appreciated, but not well-timed rain made it very difficult to decide when the optimum time to harvest Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon would be. We had to make some tough calls relating to ripeness in the end, but we are pleased with the quality of the late cultivars.
This was by far the wettest and most challenging harvests of my winemaking career in terms of picking the grapes at optimum ripeness. Even though it was one tough vintage, we still achieved above average yield from the 2023 harvest and early indications are that the wine we have in the Cellar was well worth the fight in terms of quality.