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Celebrating start of harvest

Crush 2023

Harvest 2023 did start in with Sauvignon blanc grapes from Stellenbosch. Yes, I am surprised that this specific block delivered more grapes this year than last. Harvest 2023 is now officially underway!

Building up to harvest time is exciting time and then for it finally to happen is awesome. Anonymous quote that puts a harvest for me in perspective “A chef has a chance with every dish to create the perfect dish, winemaker has one chance a year to create the perfect wine”.

Harvest is a fun time in the cellar Things I will be looking at when deciding to harvest specific block. The sugar concentration in the grape, natural acidity and the pH and most importantly what style of wine I would like to create. Other factors also playing a role, but the main factors will be the weather forecast during harvest period. Once the fruits arrived in the cellar it’s up to me to guide the juice in the direction I would like to wine to be one day. I will be monitoring the clarity of the juice and the fermentation temperature. Fermentation will take place either in stainless steel tanks (ex Bizoe Morningstar Semillon), barrels (ex Bizoe Henrietta), concrete eggs (ex Bizoe Crossroad Semillon) or even in amphora (Bizoe Idioglossia Chardonnay). Type of vessel plays an important role to determine the style of wine we are producing.

Winemakers sometime get accused for only working two months in the year during harvest time. Well, I can confirm we are working damn hard in harvest, but it’s also the most enjoyable experience. Bonding with your team in the cellar, late nights waiting for the press to finish, cleaning up after each day and a simple cheers at the end of the hard day works makes it all worthwhile. 

Crush term use to describe harvest time, crusher is a de-stemmer that knock the fruit from the stem and gets squeezed open to start the flowing of the juice. Let’s go and crush this harvest! 

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