Situated on the verdant Garden Route, at the heart of the Plettenberg Bay wine route, you’ll find Kay and Monty Vineyards. With five hectares of land under grape, Kay and Monty is a boutique wine farm that produces a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a deliciously dry Chardonnay MCC.
The farm was bought by Chick Legh in 2004, and as an avid polo player Chick decided to convert it into a polo estate. Subsequently it was one of the first estates to start planting vines, and slowly but surely the infrastructure has taken shape. We chatted to Lloyd Kasimbi, farm manager and viticulturist, about the recent harvest at Kay and Monty.
Tell us a bit about this year’s harvest…
We have a total of five hectares under grape with an array of varietals, namely Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. We use the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for our award-winning MCC and the Sauvignon Blanc grapes for our still wine. We had our hands full with this year’s harvest – challenging conditions meant that we had to stay on our toes – but we feel positive that our grapes promise great wines.
What were the challenges that you faced?
Redford has been tormented by runaway fires recently; fires blazed our boundaries but thankfully our crop was unharmed by the flames. However, as a result of the fire, we noticed that pigs, baboons and birds started foraging in our vineyards as the fires had wiped out their usual mountain foraging sites. We had to vigilantly patrol the vineyards to keep them at bay. The weather has also been extremely hot and so we were worried this would damage our grapes. However, the dryness resulted in the grapes and vineyards being very healthy overall.
All in all, was the harvest a success?
Yes, we persevered and the overall result was amazing. The challenging conditions led to a slightly reduced wine grape crop but the grape quality was fantastic, the bunches were loose and open. The heat led to a slightly smaller grape size but this promises a more concentrated flavour and colour. We harvested a staggering 7.6 tons of Chardonnay grapes, 7 tons of the Sauvignon Blanc and 2.4 tons of Pinot Noir grapes.
When will we see the fruits of this harvest?
We will hopefully see our MCC, Champu, between February and March next year. We’ll see the Sauvignon Blanc much quicker. It is made with a single fermentation and we should be tasting it by September this year.
If you are in the area, pop in to the tasting room at Kay and Monty Vineyards. On hot summer days enjoy a light lunch made up of locally-sourced fresh ingredients while enjoying the view. On colder days you can keep warm in the comfort of our two fireplaces. Head over here to make a booking.