Ayama’s harvest season begins long before the sweet, ripe bunches of grapes are taken off of the vines. It is the time when all the year’s efforts, attention, passion, projects and dreams about the new wines become a reality. It’s a time of intense focus and hard, manual labour.
The Italian passion for fine wine and conservation are inseparable elements of Ayama Slent owners Michela and Attilio Dalpiaz. A decade ago, they left their Northern Italian home to go on holiday with friends in South Africa. Like many others, they fell in love with South Africa, the people, the weather and the wine. Slent translates to land, people and passion, evident in every bottle beautifully produced from the 62 hectares of vineyards with tender, love and care.
Michela, founder of Ayama explains; “Harvest normally starts slowly, builds to a crescendo and then slowly starts to slow down as the last of the grapes are brought in from the vineyards. The rest of the focus is then in the cellar.”
The weather typically plays a big role in how a harvest runs. Heat, rain, sunshine and wind can all have an impact on how things play out over the weeks and months of the harvest. It’s a stressful time for those involved but it is an extremely fulfilling process in the end.
The 2019 harvest of Ayama has been extremely rewarding, the vineyards have been under pressure for three years and the challenge for 2018/2019 season was reaching the balance of the grapes in terms of quantity and quality partially recovering from the recent Western Cape drought. Every single person part of the Ayama family has put their heart and soul into this harvest all Winter and Spring to ensure the necessary attention were given to the vineyards, by helping them reaching that perfect balance. At the beginning of Summer Michela and Attilio were sure that they will be harvesting two weeks later than usual, but to their surprise climate conditions during November/December 2018 sped up the ripening process in many of the grapes. By the end of January 2019, Ayama found themselves harvesting non-stop until end-February. Blithely, one variety after the other, all grapes harvested was successfully delivered to the cellar ready to start their aging process.
Ayama is delighted to announce that they have officially closed their harvest season on the 20th of March 2019.
“Autumn is knocking at our doors and we all can slow down now, waiting to start all over again for the next season while the new wines are aging either in steel tanks or barrels.” – Michela Dalpiaz
In celebration of a triumphant harvest season Ayama will be having a special offer on their online store, Ayamateca. On any order above R1,500 customers will receive a Vermentino Magnum for free.