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Harvest 2018 is in full swing

The year that was: Breedekloof Wine Valley reflects on 2017’s successes

This year the Breedekloof Wine Valley proved, once again, that wines from this unassuming wine region are worth seeking out. Here, winemakers from the valley reflect on some of the top wine awards collected in 2017.

Botha Kelder
“If you have healthy grapes, you’ll have healthy wine,” says Cellarmaster Gerrit van Zyl, adding that there was no shortage of these healthy grapes in 2017.
The winery’s awards balance sheet has an equally healthy reflection as a result. Top Awards include:
• Michelangelo Wine Awards: Double Gold Medal for Botha Cellar Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2015
• Michelangelo Wine Awards: Gold Medal for Shiraz Reserve 2014
• Veritas Wine Awards: Double Gold Botha Cellar Hanepoot Jerepigo 2000


With rainfall at record lows and the possibility of an earlier than expected budbreak, there are feelings of uncertainty around the impact of the current drought and how this will affect the production of wine going forward. Groundwater levels are becoming low and extensive monitoring thereof is underway, but groundwater does not make up for lack of rain. It is predicted that the current status quo will continue and it is therefore imperative that grapegrowers will need to develop contingency plans to draw on extensive resources and information exchanges that will benefit everyone. The amount of water available will determine yields. A water shortage will mean that growers could be looking at greatly reduced yields, come harvest next year. Despite the possibility of lower yields, the water shortage will not necessarily have an impact on the quality of the grapes. July 2017 Dam levels are as follows: Berg River 40%, Brandvlei 20%, Bulshoek 54%, Clanwilliam 27%, Keerom (Nuy) 41%, Misverstand 104%, Steenbras 82%, Stettynkloof 84%, Theewaters-Kloof 21%, Voelvlei 22% Wemmers-Hoek 37%.