Weather - Influence on Grape Quality

Fire in South Africa

2016: Strong winds and damaging fire on the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch in mid-Jan. The blaze raged for a week, covering as much as 50 miles of the mountain. 2 out of the 3 local firefighting helicopters were broken. Stellenbosch, Tokara winery, defied the flames thanks to a major investment in firefighting capability after the last fire in 2009. This included specially installed water hydrants every 100 metres round the perimeters of Tokara’s vineyards. “We have high pressure 80mm firefighting hoses and proper firefighting nozzles which we can run at full pressure,” Miles Mossop, Tokara’s winemaker, said. “This mountain was ablaze, but we were able to fend the fire off. We could have lost 3 or 4 hectares like we did in 2009, when we also had smoke damage. This year, we had none.”

  • Accredited to:
  • Miles Mossop, Tokara’s winemaker