“Nature teaches us that life works in cycles,” – Cellar Master, Rudiger Gretschel

“Harvest is a magical time,” shares Rudiger. “All the care, attention and hard work, which our team puts in to growing the grapes in the vineyards throughout the season is realised by fermenting the pressed juice to wine.”

We caught up with Rudiger in-between stacking bottles sur latte in the coves of our underground cellar. Here the new vintage will rest and mature over the next 12 months and beyond, gaining in flavour and complexity, before disgorgement. 

Rudiger Gretschel, Cellar Master 

Harvests by the very nature inspire hope, an emotion that feels now more important than ever - can you elaborate on your hopes for this harvest?

Nature teaches us that life works in cycles. From cold and dormant winters, to the budding of life with the new growth of vine shoots followed by a grape harvest in summer. Followed by the vine building up reserves in autumn, which it needs for the next growing season, before the vineyard sheds it leaves to rest again during winter.

With every grape harvest we have the opportunity to make another vintage of wine. It is a time of excitement by creating, experimenting and long hours of work. With very growing season and grape harvest there are new challenges and subtle differences in quality, yield and fermentations. You need to be dynamic to be able to adapt your skills to accommodate to this change. Similar to Darwinism’s survival of the fittest.

The same holds true for the desperate times we find ourselves in at the moment with the Corona pandemic. By changing our behaviours and adapting to new norm we will overcome as a human race and survive!

The growing season - what were the challenges? 

2021 will be remembered as a cool growing season. A cold, wet and long winter resulted in a good and promising crop. With the cool growing season and sporadic rainfall throughout the season we had to be on our toes to avoid any possible mildew disease.

What were some of the highlights? 

It was the first harvest of a newly planted Chardonnay vineyard. The quality of the fruit harvested and the resultant wine analysis exceeded our expectations. These grapes are simply world-class for making Cap Classique.

Harvest reflections…

The start of harvest was 10 days later than normal, which is the result of the cool growing season. The first grapes were picked at the end of the second week in January and harvest lasted a full three weeks.

Is there anything new on the cards? 

We are working to add more site-specific single vineyard Blanc de Blancs Cap Classique wines to our Grower Cap Classique range. Watch this space.




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