From one extreme to the other
Fortunately for us, an exceptional summer was what we got! Early summer temperatures were above average and rainfall well below, this resulted in the vines putting on incredibly fast growth early in the season and flowering if anything around a week earlier than typical. Weather during flowering was perfect resulting in great, even fruit set. The summer remained dry so disease pressure was low and the vines were not as vigorous as in a typical summer. This dry weather was perfect for the grapes but less so for other crops such as the spuds in the neighbouring field of our Portscatho vineyard.
The negatives of a hot summer
One of the few difficulties during the growing season to mention was the odd spell of weather during ripening in September where disease pressure was high due to high humidity. This resulted in some varietals such as Bacchus having a very short window for picking before botrytis set in. Fortunately cases such as these were the exceptions, its disappointing, plus requires a lot more selective picking.
A special year for Knightor wines
There are a few standouts of the 2018 crop for me, Pinot Noir in general was very good for either rosés or red wines but the most exciting is a great batch of Pinot Noir Précoce from our Portscatho vineyard. In the past we have made both sparkling and a still rosé from this variety but this year seemed the perfect opportunity to push for a red wine given how clean the fruit was and the levels of ripeness. Half of the volume of this has gone in to barrel the other half maturing in tank, keep a lookout for a release in summer 2019! Its looking wonderfully soft fruity and elegant.
We can't wait to see what 2019 has in store for us and hope you join us for the adventure!