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2015 Harvest Report

At La Motte, harvest-time usually starts at the end of January, even early February, but this year the grapes were ready much earlier. And not only did harvesting start exceptionally early, the volume of grapes harvested was also the largest in the history of La Motte!

“Yes, we were surprised by the early season”, explains Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche, “but we have been blessed with healthy grapes and good conditions.”


“When French cellarhand, Max, arrived on the scheduled date of his contract, we were two weeks into the pressing season and almost done with our Sauvignon Blanc!” He is joined by harvest-time helpers, David from Sweden (middle) and Jacques from South Africa (right).


La Motte CEO, Hein Koegelenberg and Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche with the first Chardonnay of the season.


Here are Edmund’s thoughts on the 2015 harvest:

  • In general I am satisfied with the overall health and quality of the grapes. And because we had a very good season leading up to harvest-time, we enjoyed even ripening.
  • We have had three winters in a row with ideal conditions – sufficient cold units and water. Groundwater has been replenished and satisfactory reservoir volumes are available for irrigation.
  • Winter ended on a relatively warm note in August, which resulted in quick growth that was slowed down during a cooler spring.
  • Most varieties, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, enjoyed exceptional weather during the flowering period, with subsequent good set. Some later varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, experienced weather challenges that caused stringier bunches.
  • Warm, dry and windy summer conditions resulted in a lower yield and caused an already early season to be even earlier.
  • We were expecting warmer conditions during early February, but we experienced cooler weather influences and had no problems with sunburn.

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