Elmarie Botes - 2012 Harvest and Life as a Protege

The most exciting time in a wine-makers life…Harvesting!!

During December 2011 and January 2012 we experienced two heat waves in the Simonsberg area. These heat waves caused stress conditions for the vines, especially the blocks without irrigation. The vines that suffered the most at Kanonkop were the old Pinotage bush vines. These vines are planted against a slope which makes it very difficult, somewhat impossible to irrigate. The lack of water and extreme temperatures lead to leaf roll symptoms appearing much earlier. So, sugar accumulation and optimal ripeness was achieved much later than usual.

Harvesting at Kanonkop started on the 7th of February 2012, a week later than usual. Kanonkop follows the old ways of winemaking by using open concrete fermenters (kuipe). Once grapes are pumped into the concrete fermenters additions are made. When yeast is added the hard work, being punch downs, starts. The punch down of grape skins takes place every 2nd hour 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Maximum extraction of colour and flavour is achieved without the harshness with this technique.

Here at Kanonkop we have a dedicated cellar team consisting of five men. Each person knows exactly what to do and when to do it so the system works very well.  During harvesting the ladies come and help at the sorting table while the farm men and cellar staff do the punch downs.

Harvesting at Kanonkop is really hard work, little sleep and lots of dedication. All this hard work and dedication is worth it when you drink a Kanonkop wine and you taste the excellence of the product.

Years in Programme?   This is my second year Where are you now?  Working alongside Abrie Beeslaar at Kanonkop Which other CWG Members have you worked with? John Loubser (Steenberg)  

Punch Downs!

Harvest Fun!

In the Vineyards

Serious work!