With Harvest ’07 just around the corner, we asked our cellar and vineyard teams for a few early predictions. Judging from this year’s conditions it appears we’re on track for a great harvest 2007. Here’s hoping Mother Nature plays along!

“It may be a bit early for crystal ball gazing when it comes to harvest predictions! But we’ve witnessed some pretty encouraging indicators, such as relatively even bud burst followed by a strong growth, due to a fantastic wet winter,” says Graham Beck Wines Cellarmaster Pieter Ferreira.

“We haven’t started irrigating on our Robertson property yet, due to near perfect soil moisture levels. We have experienced some shoot damage in both Robertson and Franschhoek due to strong winds in October,” adds our viticulturist Marco Ventrella.

There has been relatively even flowering of the early cultivars for a change and we predict that Franschhoek will be even earlier than before. “Initial bunch counts indicate a normal size harvest, unlike the 2006 harvest. The harvest potential of our Firgrove vineyards appears much better as there was far less wind during the flowering period, especially with the Cabernet Sauvignon,” says Pieter.

A few pesky creepy crawlies have ‘bugged’ us if you’ll excuse the pun! In Robertson pests, such as snails (prone to making an appearance in wet soil conditions) are a BIG headache this year. Unusual pests such as caterpillars have also proven problematic in Franschhoek. Disease pressure is quite high, but normal preventative programs are sufficient at this stage and we continue to receive valuable data from our weather stations.

“Our farming teams are really proving their mettle. Their dedication and enthusiasm are very encouraging and we are all extremely excited at what the future holds! Once we’ve done our bunch counts we’ll let you have an update. Here’s to a GREAT 2007 harvest!” says Pieter.