Gerhard’s 2021 Flagstone Vintage Update – 15 March

Harvest Greetings from The Flagstone Team.

Eight weeks into the harvested and our bodies are starting to feel the cumulative strain of the long days. We’ve brought in 72% of our grapes now and as we begin week 8, with a little over a quarter of the harvest still to arrive, our spirits remain high. The last push always needs spirit, focus and determination, particularly at the moment with Eskom’s rolling load-shedding stripping us of power for 2-hour intervals a couple of times a day. It’s at times like this I am particularly grateful for the team we’ve assembled through the years. I know we can count on each other and with everything we’ve been through of late we’re an increasingly tight unit. I’m pleased to report the team is well and our protocols are keeping us safe from COVID-19.

The 2021 vintage continues to present an array of tricky harvest decisions, requiring patience while we wait for up to two weeks past our usual harvest dates for the grapes to achieve perfect ripeness. We welcomed last week’s rain, particularly for the dryland vineyards in the Swartland and Agter Paarl regions, which helped ripen the last grapes.  

We have picked all of our white grapes and the wines fermenting promise exciting wines, especially some of the old bush vine Chenin Blanc destined for our Tributary and Paradigm Chenin Blanc and our Stellenbosch Viognier destined for Word of Mouth.

The biggest portion of grapes still hanging is our Cabernet Sauvignon, mostly from Stellenbosch with some still hanging in the Wellington and Agter Paarl region. There is also some Shiraz that needs to be harvested and a single block of Pinotage high up on the Paardeberg mountain. If the weather holds, we expect to complete harvesting the grapes by the end of March.

Gerhard Swart.

Get an insider’s look with Gerhard’s March Harvest Videos