When recently asked why he returned to Creation for a second harvest, German intern Max Fredrich’s spontaneous reply was that “at Creation the mood is always good”! Creation’s Carolyn Martin confirms that harvest is a happy, but also a hectic time. “Having commenced in January with the early picking of our Chardonnay for the Elation Méthode Cap Classique, the 2019 harvest is now in. Following the Chardonnay, our industrious harvest team moved on to pick the Pinot Noir and after that the Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier. They recently brought in the Syrah and the Merlot and Grenache were the last to be harvested.”
Bearing in mind that at Creation all the grapes are harvested by hand, one can only imagine the hard work put in by the harvest team. “It is no secret that handpicking is a painstaking and let’s face it, often backbreaking activity but it is more than worth the trouble,“ explains Carolyn. The pickers know exactly what to look for in a bunch, ensuring that no overripe or damaged grapes or leaves land in the crates. This precludes the need for sorting tables and additional handling. Another good reason for hand-harvesting is the fact that grape skins are easily bruised. Clearing away the vine leaves, the picker handles each bunch with care, dropping it gently into the crate. The harvest team moves into the vineyards before dawn, while the cool night air still envelopes the perfectly ripe fruit and since the cellar is situated only minutes away from the vineyards the grapes are delivered in prime condition. The grapes are well balanced with excellent fruit concentration and intensity of flavour.
But picking is of course only a part of the harvest story. “For the past weeks our cellar has been a hive of activity. Yet thanks to careful planning, terrific teamwork and the extra help of our interns everything ran smoothly and the 2019 vintage looks promising to say the least,“ says an enthusiastic Carolyn and expresses her thanks to the vineyard and cellar teams: “We are proud of our inspired crews and wish to thank each and everyone for the hard work, the dedication, the admirable teamwork and the valuable input – the vineyard team was out in the vineyards every day for the last two months! The art of winemaking however begins long before the first grapes are harvested or the first barrels filled. It begins with the land itself, the spirit of which lives on in every bottle. For the 2019 vintage we have been blessed with rains at the right time, cooling breezes from the nearby Atlantic when needed, and all in all near-perfect conditions. Our ultimate thanks therefore go to Mother Nature.“