Diemersdal’s 2022 grape harvest ended in cool, autumnal conditions at the very end of March. And although the cellar team still has a lot of work to do as the red varieties complete their fermenting and the earlier white wines have to be prepared for blending and bottling, we look back on a harvest of healthy grapes, a good yield and the promise of a top-quality 2022 vintage.
Harvest began in late January, with the farm’s signature grape variety – Sauvignon Blanc – showing fresh acids and brilliantly expressive flavours. At the onset of harvest it looked as if this year would go down as one of the cooler and most temperate seasons in recent history. We had a magnificent growing season due to the cool, mild conditions during the spring and early summer of 2021. And once picking got under way in late January, temperatures remained mild – hence this year’s harvest being two weeks later than the average.
Despite the late start to harvest, Diemersdal’s first bottle-ready Sauvignon Blanc was already in the market on 4 March, the first of South Africa’s 2022 Sauvignon Blanc wines to hit the shelves.
As the harvesting of the Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, later-ripening Sauvignon Blanc vineyards and the red varieties got under way there were a few hot days on the farm, yet it was evident that this year’s crop showed even-ripening. This has a lot to do with our vines being unirrigated, dryland plants that have adapted to the vagaries of climate and unfailingly give us even, well-ripened grapes. And due to the wet winter of 2021, these dryland vines have excellent reserves and were well-nourished at time of harvesting.
Of the young 2022 wines, the Sauvignon Blanc is showing zest, bright acidity and expressive tropical notes, characters that this year can be expected throughout the comprehensive Diemersdal range. Chardonnay and Grüner Veltliner have pin-point accurate varietal character and like the Sauvignon Blanc they show firm acidic backbones to ensure bracing and energetic wines exuding complexity.
Red varietal wines including Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz are exuding brilliant colour extraction, the result of extended ripening and on the palate the vinification is bringing-out a gorgeous plushness in these reds.
All round, a fine vintage with the winemakers enthusiastically crafting the wines awaiting their release to the public.