Bot River Valley expects an exceptional vintage!

Date posted:
April 17, 2012


Across the length and breadth of the Bot River Valley, farm owners, winemakers and viticulturists agree that 2012 will be an exceptional vintage. Despite below average winter rainfall in 2011 and a few heat waves in January 2012, the vintage has produced fresh, vibrant and healthy fruit – and the wines in the tank and barrel are extremely promising.


Kobie Viljoen of Gabriëlskloof is enthused by the grape quality: “Reds showed delightfully lower sugars at full ripening and intense colour without any harsh extracted tannin base. This vintage will stand out as an unusual harvest where time of picking will capture the lion's share of the qualities of the wines created."


The heat wave that struck in mid-January dried the vines and hastened the until-then slow ripening season. Those producers with access to water found that small irrigations helped keep the vineyards stress free. This produced tiny berries which in turn resulted in more intense flavours.


Marelise van Rensburg of Beaumont Wines is also ecstatic: “Despite the lack of rain and the January heat wave we have the most amazing elegance, purity of fruit and incredible balance in the wines this year”.


At Eerste Hoop, winemaker Leon Engelke found that crop thinning at veraison helped to even out the ripening of the bunches, and he says: “The grapes were of top quality. Never did I feel any of the blocks were in real stress and they looked in a healthy condition before, during and after harvest.”


PJ Geyer of Barton agrees: “I found the 2012 harvest elegant in tannins and they will create wines which are balanced and silky in texture, full of fruit and with a long lingering finish - but one must be careful not to use to much new oak.”


The proof is in the wines, so make sure you are at the Bot River Beards and Barrels event on the 21st of April to taste the gems of the valley straight from the barrel, poured for you by the valley’s impressively-bearded wine makers. Visit for more information.



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