The drought, the downpour and the delight



The drought, the downpour and the delight

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Harvest 2020 is well underway. 

And thanks to the January downpour in the Overberg, there’s a lot of excitement around the potential for the 2020 vintage. 

Here’s what’s happened.

The Overberg has been in the midst of a five-year drought. Last year, the rainfall was once again well below the average. This was not what the vineyard needed.

Then, in the middle of January 2020, the heavens opened, and our region received around 100mm’s of much-needed rain. This was the best possible outcome for our vines, and according to Dirk Human, owner of the Black Oystercatcher, it came at exactly the right time.

Dirk says, “The flavours in the berries are extremely concentrated, and they remind me of our 2007 harvest.” He also believes the 2020 harvest will exceed last year’s harvest in terms of volume (given the very dry conditions in 2019).

What’s more, the average temperatures have been a touch lower than normal, thanks to the wet January weather. This, too, has helped to concentrate the flavours in the grapes.

Despite the rains, the grapes have remained healthy (rain shortly before harvest can sometimes be a concern for us).


On the harvest to date:

  • The harvest started just one day later this year, compared to last year.
  • The first Sauvignon blanc grapes are already harvested and are in the cellar.
  • The first Merlot grapes – which will be used in our Méthode Cap Classique, are also in, and showing great potential.
  • The conditions are looking favourable for a Noble Late – for our Black Oystercatcher Reserve Range.
  • Dirk has more ideas for the Reserve Range – but these are STILL A SECRET.

Good luck to Kanna Williams and the harvesting team, for the hard work over the coming weeks. And of course to Willem Pietersen and Herman Karg, our assistant winemakers, in the cellar.



On Friday, 20 March 2020, we’re hosting the Black Oystercatcher End of Harvest Celebration. 


We raise a glass to a busy harvest season, and to the 2020 vintage. And we celebrate with great wine and craft beer, good food, live entertainment, and an evening under our country skies.

Tickets cost R375 – including wine and beer on the house and a long table packed with delicious dishes from the Black Oystercatcher kitchen. Tickets are limited.

To book your spot at our Black Oystercatcher End of Harvest Celebration, click below:

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