Merlot on the terraces

Harvesting Merlot 02  06 001.jpg
Blue skies and warm temperatures quickly ripen grapes, so all varieties follow on each others’ heels here.

We harvested our first Merlot 2006 grapes this morning from our highest terraced block. They are now in the winery cold room, cooling down to 2 or 3 deg. C. They will go through the crusher tomorrow.
After a week of harvesting , we have Pinotage, Chenin Blanc and Merlot in the winery, all in grape or juice form. They will all start to be wine in a few days.
Merlot was a late arrival on the South African scene and when Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, South Africa had one labelled Merlot. If you wanted to compare this, you had to buy a bottle of Pomerol. You couldn’t find a bottle of Californian wine of any variety.
There was a big Merlot planting programme in the 1990’s followed by a ‘learning how to make Merlot wine’ programme.

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