Harvest begins at La Petite Ferme
One of the leading boutique wine estates in Franschhoek, La Petite Ferme, begins its first harvest since the change of ownership. Together with the change of ownership, Wikus Pretorius was appointed new winemaker taking over from the previous owner, Mark Dendy-Young.
With much excitement at the estate harvest began with the first white grapes, the Nouvelle which is a variety that is blended with Sauvignon Blanc. They were picked a bit early this year due to the heat and humid climate Franschhoek and the rest of the Western Cape has been experiencing but also to ensure the rich fresh acidity of the grapes.
“Due to the hot summer weather the vintage is about a week ahead but it’s better for us to get the grapes in now at low sugar levels and high in acids because later in the season we may get grapes that have been in the sun for too long that are high in sugar but low in acid,” explains Wikus.
It’s easier to get in blending components now early in the season to make up for what grapes they may find in the end. Wikus and his team feel confident that harvest should be completed by the of February or beginning of March, after which the real fun will begin with bottling the Sauvignon Blanc in three months’ time as well as the process of barrelling the red wines.
La Petite Ferme is an intimate winery producing a limited stock of wine each year and therefore, creating exclusivity of their wines as wines can only be purchased from the estate and certain countries abroad. This approach has many benefits and allows the winemaker to be extremely hands on and in touch with the vines, finding specific elements that are unique to La Petite Ferme.