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Kanu Harvest Report-2014
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Our season started off on the 21st of January when we harvested Pinot Noir for base wine for our Giselle MCC.

From the start we realised that this was going to be season with a plethora of challenges, since we had to do a thorough sorting of the Pinot Noir as not all the bunches had gone through veraisson, that meaning that there was still green berries in some of the bunches.

Another two week period of waiting before we harvested the Chardonnay portion for the base wine. Because of the indifferent climatic conditions, we had to deal with Botrytis rot, something that I look for in Chenin Blanc, but definitely not in Chardonnay base wine. As part of our commitment to ensure that only healthy grapes get processed, we hand sort all of the grapes arriving at the cellar, an exercise that adds many hours to our day, but the end results certainly makes the effort worthwhile.

February in the winelands is known for its heat spikes, but this year we continued having hot and humid conditions throughout the month and well into March. Sauvignon Blanc with its delicate flavours that can be ruined by hot weather had to be carefully managed, but the flavours that emanated from the fermentation tanks thankfully dismissed all the anxiety, leaving the cellar filled with wafts of passion fruit and other tropical notes.

My pulse always quickens when the time approaches to start harvesting Chenin Blanc, and with three different terroirs coming into play, expectations was high and the grapes certainly did not disappoint. Botrytis infection was higher than in previous years and will certainly add complexity to the wines. This year I secured 45 year old bush vines whose grapes are used for the KCB and as blending component for a new Mediterranean blend. I got the chills when I saw these vines, planted in rich decomposed granite and bearing healthy fruit on canes as thick as a man’s forearm, these grapes delivered flavours the likes which I have not encountered before. I wait with great expectation to taste the wine once it has completed its journey in barrel.

Our Single Vineyard Viognier continues to gain traction both locally and on the international front, and this year’s harvest is quietly developing in barrel. A portion of this will also find its way into the new blend, surely adding to its overall complexity.

Grenache Blanc and Roussane are two new cultivars to the cellar and destined for the blend as well, and as with the other white wines in barrel, underwent natural fermentation in seasoned barrels and are maturing, ready to play their part in the new collaboration.

The challenging harvest continued as the red wine grapes started to make their way into the cellar. Botrytis infection was common on most varieties and careful sorting was again the order of the day.

As with the old Chenin Blanc block that I secured, I also got hold of a parcel of Grenache Noir, planted right next to, and sometimes with the Chenin Blanc. These grapes are scarcer than the proverbial hens teeth, and with some fantastic Grenache from Stellenbosch, are promising great building blocks for our GSM.

2014 is looking to be a very good year for Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. These grapes have had an extended time on the skins after fermentation, ensuring good colour stability and rounded tannins, and when the time comes, will be blended for the Keystone. This year shows the promise of all five traditional Bordeaux cultivars being used for the Keystone.

We harvested the last Cabernet Sauvignon on the farm during the first week in April, bringing an end to a challenging, but memorable harvest. Now with harvesting equipment cleaned and packed away, weary bodies rested and stained hands cleansed, we reflect on what was and gently ease into autumn and the coming winter, watching (tasting) the fruit of our labours as they develop.

- KANU PRIVATE CELLAR AND VINEYARDS -
Tel: +27.817322480      Email: info@kanu.co.za  
P.O. Box 548 , Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa