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2022 Harvest: Update 3

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18 Mar 2022

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Lots has happened since we last updated you! A few rainy days in the Cape Winelands has announced the imminent arrival of autumn in the region. However most days have remained warm and sunny, helping our grapes along in their steady ripening process.

In fact, the past three weeks have been a landslide of grapes with us picking almost every day up to the very last pick which was Monday the 7th of March.  We have spent the past 10 days in the cellar with the grapes and going through the first stages of the winemaking process. It has been an incredible time at Brookdale, full of activity and excitement as the race to harvest unfolded. Read on to see what we’ve been up to over the past few weeks…

Brookdale Estate harvesting by hand in Paarl

LATE FEBRUARY

On Tuesday the 21st of Feb, we picked the first ever crop of Piquepoul Blanc at Brookdale Estate, and the final harvest of our white wine varietals.

This lesser-known varietal has its origins in the Languedoc region in France, but is also planted in Spain and Portugal (and we love our unusual European varietals at Brookdale, as you may know). It is known for its great acidity, and we are brimming with excitement to see how this inaugural vintage comes to fruition in the cellar.

“Our curiosity inspires us to try harder, to push further and to explore things more deeply with every vintage of Brookdale wine. We are throwing formulas out of the window, and focusing on exploring techniques in varying combinations as we search for the right approach for each block and vine.” – Tim Rudd, Proprietor.

Wednesday the 22nd of February saw the first lug boxes of our red grapes arriving at the cellar. First in the door was the maiden crop of Brookdale Petit Syrah, followed by our Grenache Noir. Both were sorted meticulously in the vineyard, before reaching the cellar, so only the most exceptional grapes would be used to make the resulting wines.

A harvest scene with a tractor amidst the vines at Brookdale Estate

WHAT CAME NEXT?

At this stage, our vineyard team were cooking. We were out amidst the vines almost every day – testing sugar levels, hand-harvesting and sorting grapes, and transferring this precious cargo to the cellar.

We then began with the Syrah, and the team worked tirelessly to pick all 24 tonnes of grapes in just 3 days so that we could get them to the cellar at their perfect ripeness. A huge feat for us!

All the reds are currently fermenting on the skins in the cellar. We have used smaller fermentation tanks this year to keep different sections of the vineyards separate for an expression of not just vintage, but also a further exploration of terroir. Some sections of our vineyards are north-facing, others are on the south side of the hill, and these components will be kept separate until final blends are made up to further investigate the make-up of our vineyards and their micro-climates.

AND THAT’S A WRAP!

The final vines of Grenache Noir were harvested on Monday the 7th of March. After a slow start, we saw an epic finish and in total picked close to 130 tonnes for the 2022 Harvest. We are excited to see how this year’s harvest translates in the cellar under the careful guidance of knowing hands, inquisitive minds and passionate souls. Watch this space…

 

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