Plans for 2015:

Due to the positive reception of the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc in New York, we decided to increase the quantity produced from the 2015 harvest in order to supply both the repeat order from Wine & Food Associates in New York, as well as to test the inquiries received from other parts of the world.

The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc harvest was very small after a dry but cool summer, resulting in concentrated flavours.

In addition, Werner made a very limited quantity Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2014 harvest which will be ready for release after maturing in French Oak barrels during the latter half of 2015. In barrel tastings conducted have been most encouraging. The entire lot has been taken up by Wine & Food Associates of New York.

Here's Werner's view:

"We decided to focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, as these varietals perfom the best on Highberry. Both varietals require a long cool growing season which Highberry happily provides. The Schapenberg creates elegant Sauvignon Blanc's with lots of concentration and length and Cabernets with ripe juicy fruit and firm,yet fine tannins. We will mainly focus on these two varietals as they showcase the Scapenberg and Highberry terroir."

Werner's comments on the 2015 Harvest

Just as you think that you have seen it all and that you can start to rely on your experience to "call" a vintage, nature throws you a curveball. What a crazy vintage!

Maybe it's best to start from the beginning;

The winter preceding the 2015 harvest was pretty good by all standards. Winter rainfalls were decent and we still had water reserves left from the previous season. The spring and early summer period was dry with very little rain to nourish the vines during their initial growth spurt in spring. We knew that we had to irrigate early in the season due to the dry conditions. The dry growing season and an average cropsize allowed the grapes to ripen about 2 weeks earlier than normal. We had to shake off our holiday blues very quickly and prep our tanks, barrels and whatever we could fill. It was one of the earliest harvests ever.

Once it started there was no turning back. The vineyards suddenly erupted in a chaotic scramble as everybody tried to harvest their grapes at the optimal ripeness level. In a way it was fortunate that the vines ripened its grapes so early. Nature looked after us again as she knows best. The earlier season ensured that the vines did not stress too much due to the dry conditions. The grapes were in a fantastic condition and ripened at moderate sugar levels. It is still early days for both wines as they are still fermenting, but I believe they are worthy successors for the 2014 wines. The juice has great balance between acidity and fruit concentration, but you will have to watch this space on how they grow up ...

At least the early harvest gave us winemakers one present. We should be able to relax and enjoy the first Easter Holidays in a long time!