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  • Father’s Day Specials

    Father’s Day – Sunday 19 June 2022

    Wine & Food Specials on the day

    Lucky Draw at 13:00

    Bookings essential – limited indoor seating

  • Sugar and Spice – Harvest

    It’s showtime for Sugar and Spice, the two vines we’ve been following for the last 10 months. Harvest 2022 is a bit later than usual but officially in full swing here on the farm.

    These two vines located on opposite sides of the farm in vastly different soils contribute to two of our most beloved wines: Sugarbush Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and Conebush Single Vineyard Syrah.

    The Sugarbush vineyard planted on the north western slopes of the farm was the final Sauvignon Blanc to be harvested. Sugar was picked early this week at 23.1 balling in fantastic condition and filled with stunning flavors.

    Fermentation has now begun in a stainless steel tank. In about 10-14 days the wine will be completely dry but will remain on the fine lees until bottling.

    What does Sugar do now?

    The day a vineyard is harvested, the next vintage begins. The stress of ripening the grapes can take a lot out of a vine. Immediately after the bunches are picked, water and nutrients are given to the vine. The goal is to replenish energy stores and keep the canopy green and healthy for as long as possible as the days get shorter and colder with winter approaching. The work for 2022 has just concluded for Sugar, but now the vine is hard at work on 23 already.

    How about Spice?

    Veraison has now concluded in the Syrah vineyards but this later-ripening cultivar is still busy building up sugars in the berries. By our estimates, we have another 2-3 weeks before Spice is harvested.

    With a few rain storms in the forecast and the iconic Cape Agulhas sea fog sitting in the vineyards each morning, this is the part of harvest where the winemakers become quite anxious. Balancing ripeness with the health of the fruit is key.

    Cheers to 2022! 🥂

  • Harvest Weekend Festival

    March 19-20, 2022, FREE festival entry

    Saturday:

    • 10am – Cellar Tour and Tasting
      • R150pp
    • 12pm – Live music from Shaun Tait
      • Free

    Sunday:

    • 7:30am – 12km Harvest Trail Run
      • R120pp, includes free glass of wine/beer

    8am – 5km Penguin Fun Walk/Run

    R80 per adult and R50 per u/12 child. All ticket sales to benefit the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary.

    For bookings and details please contact events@lomond.co.za or phone 082 296 2272.

  • Sugar and Spice – Veraison

    The most exciting step of the vineyard cycle is upon us now at Lomond – veraison. By the end of this critical stage we will for the first time see exactly what quality the 2022 vintage has brought.

    Let’s check back in with Sugar and Spice for a closer look at this colorful time of year in the vineyards. These two vines located on opposite sides of the farm in vastly different soils contribute to two of our most beloved wines: Sugarbush Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and Conebush Single Vineyard Syrah.

    It has been just over a month since we last checked in on them. Anxiety was high during our last visit as winds and rain arrived right in the middle of flowering.

    Fortunately these Cape Agulhas vines are no stranger to adversity. Fruit set was a success and the culmination of every vineyard stage from the day the 2021 crop was picked until now has arrived: veraison.

    Veraison is the clearest sign that harvest is near. Even more, it’s the first real window a winemaker gets to look into the quality of the vintage.

    In red cultivars this stage is quite clear. Berries begin to change from green to pink to purple. In white cultivars the bunches go from a darker green to a lighter, more translucent hue.

    What exactly is veraison?

    Veraison is when fruit ripening begins. Now through harvest time, the vineyards will focus all of their energy on ripening the hanging bunches. With each warm day, sugars will rise. Simultaneously, acidities will drop. This is also the time when phenolic ripening occurs. Color, tannin, flavor and aroma compounds are all starting to develop in the grapes.

    In cool climate Cape Agulhas, veraison happens later than in the rest of the country. It is also a longer process as sugars rise slowly and natural acidities remain strong. This longer hangtime is what allows our grapes to achieve full phenolic ripeness which ultimately provides our wines with stunning aromatics, vibrancy, and well-rounded mouthfeel.

    Challenges of Veraison

    Once viable fruit is hanging in the vineyards, the biggest challenge is keeping it healthy. Sun, rain, humidity, wind, etc can all damage and bring disease to a block.

    The other major challenge from this stage forward is wildlife. Many animals including birds and baboons love this time of year as sugars rise in the grapes. Even a single peck on just one berry can ruin the entire bunch.

    The only real solution for these challenges is to be active and vigilant in the vineyards from sun up til sundown.

    Our friend Sugar here is probably about 4 weeks away from harvest time and Spice is about 8 away. However, harvest may begin for MCC base wines as early as next week for us.

    Cheers to 2022! 🥂

  • Sugar and Spice – Flowering Pt 1

    A little over 3 weeks ago we introduced you to Sugar and Spice. These two vines located on opposite sides of the farm in vastly different soils contribute to two of our most beloved wines: Sugarbush Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and Conebush Single Vineyard Syrah.

    We revisit them today in the middle of November, as they begin to take on one of the most critical stages in the vineyard cycle: flowering.

    Before we get into the details of flowering and why our winemakers and viticulturists begin to lose sleep this time of year – let’s first have a look at Sugar and Spice.

    When we last saw them they were in the middle of bud break. Infant leaves were beginning to emerge from the dormant trunks and small shoots were slowly coming to life. Still, when you looked out over the different vineyard blocks, it was mostly wood that filled the view.

    Today it is very different. Our two vines are filled with life as the shoots continue to climb and some leaves reach maturation.

    At the current stage of the vineyard cycle we can see a lot of cultivar-specific characteristics showing through. The two photos above of Sugar (Sauvignon Blanc on the left) and Spice (Syrah on the right) show very contrasting growth.

    Syrah is a vigorous vine. Already its’ shoots are much taller and leaf development much farther along than Sugar.

    But when we take a closer look it’s clear that Sugar is in fact still in the lead as far as the vineyard cycles go.

    Here we see the current flowering status of both vines. To better understand, let’s first discuss this stressful phase of the vineyard cycle.

    Grapevines are hermaphroditic. What this means is unlike many other plants that rely on bees or other wildlife for pollination, vineyards have both male and female parts which allow them to self pollinate.

    These small green balls on what appears to be a very young cluster of grapes are called calyptra. These structures look like undeveloped grapes but are actually little cases containing the flower parts, protected by 5 petals. The stamen, or male part, has already come out on the Sauvignon Blanc. These are the off-white stick structures coming out of the calyptra. On the tips of them are the pollen sacks.

    Soon, the petals of the calyptra will begin to open up and expose the pistil, or female part of the flower.

    It is here where things get stressful.

    Rain and wind are the biggest threats to this stage of the vineyard cycle. These are also two very common weather patterns we receive here in the cool-climate Cape Agulhas region. Too much of either can have a devastating effect on the years yield.

    A 30% pollination rate on a cluster is a tremendous success. However, storms are sporadic and unpredictable here on the Southernmost Tip of Africa.

    What makes this stage particularly challenging is the lack of control one has over it. The ability for the pollen at the end of the stamen to reach the pistil is completely in nature’s hands. A perfect reminder how special each new vintage really is.

    We’ll check back in soon as fruit set begins to develop.

  • Sugar and Spice – the life of a vine

    If you live in the Western Cape you probably drive by blocks of vineyard every single day. For a few months out of the year they are just sticks, whereas the rest of the year it may just look like a sea of green leaves. Sometimes there may be a team of workers on foot busy in a block, other times it may be a lone tractor driving down the rows.

    But what is actually going on in the vineyard all year? Is it as simple as sticks >>> leaves >>> grapes >>> wine?

    Like anything worth dedicating oneself to, the life cycle of a vine is complex and fascinating. There are decisions being made every single day to not only help the current years crop, but the overall health and success of each vine for vintages to come.

    To take you along on the journey of the vines for a growing season we’d like to introduce you to Sugar and Spice.

    Sugar is a 21 year old Sauvignon Blanc vine planted on one of the highest slopes on the farm in our registered single vineyard Sugarbush block. Sugar is located 8 rows from the lower northeast corner of the block, 5 vines up.

    Spice is also 21 years old but is a Syrah vine located in the sandy soil on the flatter, lower, opposite side of the dam. Spice is 10 rows down from the northeast corner and 6 vines up.

    We’ll be following both throughout the growing season, into harvest and back into winter of 2022.

    After one of the coldest and wettest winters in recent history, the first critical stage in the growing cycle is finally upon us although a few weeks late: bud break.

    The increase in sunshine and warmer temps causes water and stored nutrients to begin flowing up the vines trunk towards dormant buds. The buds begin to swell creating small, hard nodules on the vine. Until finally, they burst.

    Small green grape leaves find their way to the sunshine and the growing season is officially underway. In just a few weeks, these tiny leaves will be long shoots, filled with full size leaves. During this time, shoots can grow as much as 2.5cm per day.

    Terroir, cultivar, and microclimates can all affect the timing of these different stages across the farm. With Sugar, we see quite a few more buds already shooting for the sky. This Sauvignon Blanc block is normally ripe and ready to be picked around early March.

    Spice on the other hand is a bit slower with waking up. There are only a few buds that have broken free at this stage. However, this block of Syrah is normally only ripe and ready to be harvested around early/mid April.

    At this very moment, the vineyards are still sparse. However, in just 10 more days they will be exploding with long, energy-producing shoots as they prepare for the next step: flowering.

    We’ll check back in with Sugar and Spice soon.

  • Conebush – Conservation in Action

    Last year we introduced you to one of our areas conservation heroes, Princess, and her team at Siyanda Alien Clearing. Unfortunately government funding for alien plant clearing has not returned since the start of the pandemic. However, Princess and her team remain hard at work on Lomond. And currently, they are tackling a hillside with 4 different species of Conebush on it, 2 of which have a conservation status of either Endangered or Vulnerable.

    As we near the end of our month-long celebration of Conebush, we wanted to provide an update on one of the most critical and often overlooked conservation projects that is ongoing on the farm.

    On the side of one of the tallest peaks on the farm, overlooking the Lomond dam, resides the Elim (Endangered), Dune (Vulnerable), Sunshine, and Toffee Apple Conebush species.

    Alien plants remain the primary threat to most fynbos in this area and this hillside is no exception.

    For over a month, Princess and her team have been slowly working their way across this hillside clearing out the biggest culprit: Acacia saligna, or Port Jacksons.

    The work is intense, slow, and meticulous – but the results are undeniable.

    Coming to the farm soon? Take a stroll on some of our trails and see if you can spot all 4 Conebush species.

    There is only 1 day left to enjoy R75 OFF per bottle of our Single Vineyard Conebush Syrah. Be sure to take advantage before August 1st.

  • Introducing Merlot Rosé 2021

    With each new vintage, our goal is always to make small improvements in the vineyards and in the winery to ultimately continue making better wines. Winemaking is a game of inches, not miles.

    However, with each new vintage of our Merlot Rosé, the wine seems to be making massive leaps forward. What was once a simple, easy-drinking, ‘fun’ wine has evolved into a Provence-inspired work of art.

    An especially cool and delayed harvest allowed the Merlot to ripen very slow in ’21. The result was perfect phenolic ripening of the grapes, creating those mouth-watering strawberry, watermelon, and candy floss flavors. The chilly temps also kept the natural acidity high in each bunch, creating a youthful zestiness in the wine.

    Elegant, vibrant, and exploding with fruity, candy floss aromas – we are thrilled to introduce the 2021 Merlot Rosé to you. You will taste the progression this stunning wine has made upon opening the first bottle.

    While our Rosé has long been the perfect companion for the beach or pool – this vintage even deserves a place at the dinner table or as a sundowner in front of the fire.

    We hope you enjoy.