The build-up to the harvest was fairly normal - a cold and wet winter, followed by a spring which saw nice, even budding of the grape varieties in the vineyard. November was fairly wet and December was the windiest month recorded in Stellenbosch since 1968. This resulted in dry conditions in the vineyards, which persisted throughout January and February. This was however helpful as it resulted in smaller berries which in-turn improved the intensity of the wines. These dry conditions and the heat wave experienced in early March hastened the harvesting of grapes by several weeks in order to limit the alcohol levels that would result from the fermented grapes. Supplementary irrigation on the properties maintained conditions for the later ripening varietals. Grapes harvested at the beginning of the season showed good analysis, especially on the pH front. During the latter half of the harvest season high temperatures caused sugars to shoot up while pH remained low. Further analysis also revealed low acids. Cellar space was under constant pressure as the heat ripened many varietals simultaneously. It was a good year in terms of yield and quality, especially on the early and mid-season cultivars.
About The Vineyard
The Proprietor’s Blend is a blend of all the six varieties cultivated on the property. These vineyards grow on the warm north-facing slopes of the Helderberg region within the Stellenbosch appellation. All six varieties thrive under these conditions and deliver rich, full-bodied red wines. With an altitude of approximately 250 metres above sea level and the cooling influence of the Atlantic Ocean just 15 kilometres away, the ripening period is extended by up to 3 weeks.
Harvest: February & March, 2011. 25.2° Brix average sugar at harvest
Cooperage: Aged for 18 months – 70% in 300 litre French Oak barrels & 30% in 300 litre American Oak barrels
Production: 4 875 X 6 X 750ml cases