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Casa Silva: harvest report

Published:  19 April, 2012

Casa Silva's technical director Mario Geisse's posts his harvest review for 2012

Casa Silva's technical director Mario Geisse's posts his harvest review for 2012


The harvest on average in Colchagua started a little earlier than usual this year thanks to the hot summer in 2012. We started a week earlier in Lolol and Angostura, but only three days earlier in Los Lingues due to the strong influence of the Andes. In Paredones, our coastal vineyards, we were in line with the normal dates as the temperature did not show a significant increase compared to other years.


Sauvignon Gris was the first variety to be picked from the vineyards around the winery in our Angostura Estate. This year is particularly significant for this variety, as these vines date back to 1912 making them exactly 100 years old. They produce only a very small yield and the concentration of the flavours in the grapes this year was wonderful.


Next came the Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the Angostura vineyards, also from a 1912 vineyard.


The Sauvignon Blanc from our Paredones Estate was not picked until much later in the harvest (even later than some of the Cabernet Sauvignon in Lolol). Here the proximity of the Ocean - just seven kilometres from the vineyards - tempers the daytime temperatures helping to preserve the natural aromatic flavours and acidity of the grapes. The soil in Paredones is ideal for grape growing as it is mostly granite with sections of clay in the higher slopes.


The Sauvignon Blancs from Paredones were even more generous in 2012 because the vines are maturing now. Yields were also lower, resulting in a greater concentration of flavours. We expect to produce an outstanding Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc this year.


After the Sauvignons it was Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir, followed closely by Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and finally Carmenere.


Although acidity levels across all of the Casa Silva estates were very similar to other years, we saw a rise in sugar levels in 2012. We were particularly pleased with the red varieties, as the skins have ripened exceptionally well producing soft tannins and ripe fruit flavours.


Pinot Noir was also harvested in Paredones this year and we are very excited to see how these wines develop.


The harvest itself was shorter than in 2011 and 2010, lasting 10 weeks in total. Initial observations indicate that the overall grape quality was very good: healthy fruit showing a good balance in terms of colour and intensity. However we will have a clearer vision of the real potential of this harvest once all the fermentations have finished. Watch this space...