The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands hosted its fifth annual Harvest Celebration this week, attracting many visitors.
A small group of volunteers, including wine-industry doyenne Norma Ratcliffe of Warwick Wines and Johan Malan, chief winemaker at Simonsig, mustered early at the Vineyard Hotel’s vines on the banks of the Liesbeek River.
By the time the pickers were enjoying their well-earned breakfast at the Vineyard Hotel’s Splash Café, 70kg of Semillon and 174kg of Sauvignon Blanc grapes had been harvested, up from the first harvest’s total of 135kg. White-wine maker at Simonsig, Hannes Meyer will nurture them to produce a white Bordeaux blend for the Vineyard Hotel’s own label. (Renowned estates take turns to make the Vineyard Hotel’s exclusive, single-vineyard wines – besides Simonsig, the Vineyard Hotel’s wine partners are Meerlust, Klein Constantia, Warwick Wines and Waterford.)
Malan declared the grapes exceptionally healthy and noted that they’d been harvested at exactly the right time.
General manager Roy Davies said, “Vines were planted along the Liesbeek in the mid-1650s. Our boutique vineyard brings the hotel’s history alive for our guests and as Cape Town’s premier food-and-wine hotel, we’re delighted to also be restoring the wine heritage of the Newlands area."