Just over a month after beginning our 2023 harvest, we bottled our first Sauvignon Blanc, the estate’s signature grape variety. The Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc 2023 was released on 2 March, one of the first Sauvignon Blancs from this year’s Cape vintage to be released.
According to Thys Louw, Diemersdal’s owner-winemaker, the early release is driven by the market. “As owners of an established brand, Diemersdal is in a fortunate position to each year have customers clamoring for our Sauvignon Blanc from the new vintage,” he says. “This, as well as the quality of this year’s grapes being conducive to a quick ferment and a short stay to settle in tank, has allowed us to come out with one of the Cape’s first Sauvignon Blancs from the 2023 vintage.”
Juandré Bruwer, who works alongside Thys in the our cellar, says the 2023 vintage will 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 2022. And then some brilliant rain in December to freshen the vines and build-up water reserves. And once harvest got under temperatures remained mild – barring a few warm days at just the right time for sugar-levels to hit optimal ripeness.”
Our 2023 crop is showing even-ripening. “I think it 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,” says Juandré.
Our Sauvignon Blanc harvesters hit the vineyards on 20 January, and the early grapes showed brisk acidity and assertive varietal character, with the balanced chemistry allowing for wine that was ready for bottling last week. The first wines exude zest and freshness along with delectable tropical notes of gooseberry and passion-fruit, with bracing, healthy acidity.
“As a Sauvignon Blanc producer harvest-time puts you in a vice where you are pushed from both sides,” says Thys. “On the one hand the grapes need picking, crushing and vinifying. On the other hand, our customers are crying out for 2023 Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa’s most popular white wine varietal. This is an extremely satisfying situation for a wine maker to be in, as at the end of the day it is the demand for your product that drives you to do what you do.”