No doubt about it: harvest is the highlight on our estate calendar. At the time of writing Creation is buzzing with activity and anticipation as all the care lavished on our vineyards throughout the year finally comes to fruition.
The following cultivars have been harvested to date: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier. We’re halfway through the harvest and feeling cautiously optimistic, as it is early days yet. However, it’s hard not to notice the smiles on the harvest and cellar teams’ faces and that certainly tells a story!
We were lucky with rains at the right time and the blessing of the prevailing south-easterly wind from the Atlantic. This wind (known as the Cape Doctor) is characteristic to Creation on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge and served to dry the vineyards after the rain, preventing disease and keeping the vines and grapes healthy.
All the Pinot Noir is in the cellar and the enthusiastic cellar team reports some exciting experimentation with wild ferments. The first two batches have already been pressed and show hauntingly beautiful and vivacious bouquets. Our cellarmaster Jean-Claude (JC) Martin’s philosophy of “enhancing the beauty of nature” is once again paying off!
Our Queen of White Wines or ABC (Absolutely Brilliant Chardonnay) has been transferred to 225-litre French oak barrels, undergoing primary fermentation. JC’s take on the vintage so far is a Chardonnay perfect scenario: “Great hang-time with brilliant levels of acidity from a cool climate”. Does this mean we can expect a Cara Delevingne rather than a Marilyn Monroe type of vintage?
While these high days of harvest are exhausting they are exhilarating too! Here are some comments by members of the cellar team:
“I’m particularly impressed with the Sauvignon Blanc which shows great aromatics. The quality of the grapes is exceptional, better than I have ever seen,” said one of our interns, Juan Pina from Argentina.
Our South African intern, Bobby Wallace remarked: “The first part of the harvest was a waiting game and now it is upon us!”
Michael Milan agreed: “It was a slow start and then the pace picked up quickly. I am extremely pleased with the quality so far.”
Our Swiss intern Nick Rothlisberger also commented on the pace and the quality: “Today was a very productive day, we filled 50 barrels with Chardonnay, pressed two red wines and one white. All the grapes are of exceptional quality.”
An optimistic Kirsten Myburgh said: “I feel the hard work is paying off.” To which Urle Hansom added: “The harvest is harder than last year with everything coming in together. I do however enjoy the team work with every member doing his or her best.”
To reward the weary, hardworking crew’s efforts, the Creation Culinary Team treats them to fabulous and filling harvest fare. Thus Chef Jaco’s menu of roast leg of lamb served with Syrah jus, baby carrots, cranberry and pistachio Swiss chard and honeyed quince went down a treat!