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What's Bubbling at Villiera this Harvest


17 March 2021  -  Villiera Wines

We are living in crazy times indeed and planning for the 2021 harvest, amidst all the uncertainty, was no exception to the guesswork we are currently forced to be involved in. After a series of alcohol bans last year we sat down towards the end of 2020 to plan for the 2021 harvest. We had recovered reasonably well after the bans and decided to be positive about our forecasts.

Soon after communicating our decision and cementing our contracts, we were hit with a further ban in December/January (peak season for bubbly), but we decided to stick to our plans , knowing that we could be facing another ban.

On the positive side, the winter of 2020 was cold with satisfactory rainfall and spring arrived late, delaying the harvest. Conditions throughout the ripening period were good which has resulted in excellent quality across the board. We are harvesting healthy fruit with good aroma intensity and balance. An additional bonus has been that yields have also been good. Fortunately we can benefit from this, although the Wine Industry in general is sitting with significant surpluses.

We have managed to retain all our staff and inspire the necessary enthusiasm, even though the industry is depressed. The Government has shown a fair amount of disdain for the Wine and Tourism industry but we are quietly confident about our future, although we have had to make some changes.

Wine Update

We have had to become more focused on direct sales, which has been one of our saviours during the pandemic, thanks to all of you. For our Wine Club members, new vintages of our Dakwijn (2019), Stand Alone Gamay (2020), and Stand Alone Pinot Noir (2020) will become available over the next 3 months. We will also be releasing a very special and small batch of Stand Alone Pinotage (2018) from an old heritage vineyard block. 

Our Monro Merlot, a reserve wine which is more generally available, will be switching to 2019 later this month under a tweaked new label. In addition, our regular Villiera varietal range will appear this year under a new guise, although still recognizable in relation to the previous label.

Domaine Grier

Domaine Grier has experienced a cold winter and recently we received some beautiful photos of snow in our vineyards. This bodes well for the health and water reserves of the vineyard.

A consignment of wine is presently on its way to South Africa, including the 2020 Rosé and Chardonnay and will be available in our Online Shop soon. Due to the pandemic, we have not been able to visit Domaine Grier recently, but fortunately we have a good team and the wines are up to their usual standard.

Wildlife Sanctuary

Towards the end of summer, the grazing in our Wildlife Sanctuary becomes limited. We supplement the diet of the animals with the waste grape skins and stalks. The animals love it, especially if it is slightly fermented, particularly the Giraffes who munch the high piles of stalks.

The surplus goes to our compost heap along with the skins and pips and ends up back in the vineyard as a mulch.

Wine Tastings & Game Drives

Our Game Drives are slowly returning to normal and we are able to offer Standard tastings in our Wine Sanctuary.

Monday - Friday: 09h00 - 17h00
Saturdays: 09h00 - 15h00

Game Drives are available but booking is essential.

Please call us on +27.218652002 and ask for game drive bookings:

Game Drives Per Adult: R260 (includes a Wine Tasting)
Game Drives for Children Under 15 Years: R130 each