Grapes for our Boekenhoutskloof Syrah are picked from selected parcels of the finest Syrah, grown at our Swartland farms, namely Porseleinberg and Goldmine, close to the small town of Riebeek-Kasteel. These vineyards were planted on the rocky bedrock of decomposed Mica-Schist, a unique terroir, finding its expression in our concentrated and structured wines made from this Rhône grape.
The 2019 vintage was one of our earliest Swartland pickings to date, with our Syrah harvest commencing during the last week of January. Our vineyards were exposed to extremely dry conditions during flowering, resulting in early set and bud break. Compared to previous vintages, the dry conditions resulted in small, compact berry clusters, hence the early picking dates and reduced yields. The growing conditions and compact bunches produced concentrated Syrah, resulting in a slightly higher skin-to-pulp ratio, resulting in wines with balanced power, lower alcohol and elegant, perfumed fruit.
Our Syrah grapes were hand-harvested into lug boxes and transported to Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek for vinification. Grapes were cooled in our cold room, then transferred to our tulip-shaped concrete tanks for fermentation. A combination of partially destemmed and whole-bunch (60%) clusters fermented spontaneously with minimal sulphur additions and no acidification. A soft délestage was performed 2-3 times per day. Once maceration is complete, the skins are basket pressed and gravity-fed into traditional 2 500L Austrian oak foudres and 600L demi-muids for further ageing of up to 18 months.