Here are the wines to drink this autumn Picture by Renee Moodie

Our eyes are on Autumn trends. With new wines and predictions taking place, expert palate at Wine Cellar, James Pietersen has put up together three important trends to watch for this season so you can be prepared.

Planting for the future with Old Vine vision

There has been a lot of communication about the values and need for nurturing and looking after our old vines heritage. 

For many reasons this is essential and these vineyards have become a clear indication of what works best. However, the flip side is that these old vines in all their gnarly beauty are only the beginning of the winemaking story that unfolds.

Our rapidly changing world means that we need to use the knowledge we have to find new ways of dealing with the future. 

With the decline in vineyard plantings, the ensuing drought and the rising cost of wine growing, it is now more than ever imperative that we support quality wines in order to stimulate the planting of new visionary vineyards; the Old Vines of the future.

David and Nadia wines

And this is exactly what is happening. Many of our very best producers are actively and intelligently planting new vineyards. These include Sadie Family Wines, Raats Family Wines, Mulllineux, David & Nadia Wines, Boekenhoutskloof, Alheit Vineyards to name but a few. 

So look out for interesting new wines and new regions coming to the fore.

It is getting hot around here – drought resistance

Climate change is a reality and being in the middle of the worst drought in 100 years is a clear indication that things are set to change. The Western Cape is set to see a 30% drop in average rainfall going forward. That said, vineyards are of the hardiest and marginal plants out there. As a matter of fact grapes make the best wine when they struggle.

However, very much like a well-conditioned athlete needs to be supremely fit but healthy, so too vineyards need to be prepared. Vines need water. 

What does this hold for the future? As we expect climate change to persist, we will see a drastic drop in quality wines being produced. This scarcity will translate to higher prices and possibly the relocation of wine producing regions in the long term. 

The growth in the production and quality of English wine is a good example.

Raats Family Wines.

A rise in new cultivars

Another trend that stems from the drought is the intelligent new plantings of vineyards in futuristic drought conditions. 

We will see a rise in different cultivars – some that are better suited to drought conditions like Verdelho, Malvasia Rei, Assystiko and Grenache Noir. Others will be favoured as they ripen earlier like Gamay Noir and Pinotage, thus missing out on the severity of the end of the season.