The 2017 harvest was a tough vintage, a compressed vintage where early ripening varieties and mid-season varieties ripened at the same time. We started the vintage on the 26th of January and finished picking by the 4th of March. With the threat of drought but hot days a reality South African yields were down and will continue to decline. Luckily for Seven Springs we have springs in the mountains, but not much could be done for those incredibly hot days during the ripening season. 2017 also so a massive fire season for South Africa with many vineyards under threat of being burned down and some even sustained real damage. Lucky for us, we had no major fires in the Hemel-en-Aarde region. Our Chardonnay vines are now 10 years old and the fruit produced is showing the maturity. This wine was barrel fermented in 300L older French oak barrels; naturally occurring yeasts on the skin of the grapes kicked off the fermentation process, but a selected yeast was used halfway through vinification to ensure the desired flavours were produced and that all the sugars were converted to alcohol and the wine is “dry”. The wine then matured in those very same barrels for 11 months.