Harvest time in the Cape South Coast. Photo credit: Beaumont Wines, Jen Pearson.

With harvest time hot on wine producers’ heels – and in some areas already in full swing – Vinpro’s team of viticulturists share their tips for managing vineyards during the 2022 harvest season.

Perfect planning

Make sure you’re prepared for the upcoming harvest. Get harvesting tools ready and familiarise yourself with the cellar grading system and grape analysis standards.

Also plan and schedule actions for the establishment of new vineyards in 2022, including soil preparation actions, and complete evaluations and planning for vineyard establishment in 2023, to ensure that planting material is ordered on time.

In the vineyard

Irrigate according to vineyard blocks’ needs, but continuously keep the wine target and expected harvest date in mind when making decisions regarding irrigation. Vineyards should not experience a lot of water stress and/or too wet conditions before harvesting, as this could impede optimal flavour and colour formation, as well as good grape analyses.

During canopy management, tip actively growing vineyards to improve the translocation flow to bunches. Break leaves judiciously if leaves above the bunch zone are too dense for good sunlight exposure and aeration. Remove green and poorly coloured bunches at 80% véraison for a high quality wine goal, as well as second crops.

Maintain necessary preventative programmes for fungus control, especially with late cultivars and where necessary. Monitor for mealybugs and control where necessary with the right pesticides, while still strictly adhering to withholding periods for these products. If the weed status is problematic, weeds should be controlled at least on the berms to eliminate competition for water and nutrition.

Remember to still pay attention to young vine development, and do not apply fertiliser by later than the end of January.

Ripe and ready

As for harvesting itself, start monitoring ripeness early and make sure that grapes are harvested at the optimal ripeness for the specific wine goal. Stay in close contact with the winemaker to keep him/her informed of the expected harvest date for the respective vineyard blocks, as well as to make the necessary arrangements in terms of delivery.

For any further enquiries or advice, kindly contact ʼn Vinpro viticulturist in your region at the details here, phone 021 276 0429 or e-mail


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