Winter in the Winelands at Mellasat

Winter in the Winelands at Mellasat
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Winter's arrived here at Mellasat Vineyards in Paarl. We're grateful for all the rain, and it'll certainly have a positive impact on the vineyards.

Winemaking in winter

To bring the current weather conditions in context with winemaking, we will share a few thoughts: Low night temperatures are very good for the vines, as they need dormancy. The vines need a specific amount of cold units per season, which has a direct effect on the quality of the bunches.

During dormancy all the reserves are stored in the roots and as soon as the vines comes out of dormancy and the buds starts forming, the reserves move up towards the buds. The buds then become leaves and flowers, and the flowers subsequently become the bunches.

After a cool spring we had a dry and hot summer with our water reserves low by the end of the harvest and, therefore, that becomes a big concern for the next season. Even though vines are hardy they still require some water although not too much but, during drought, they pull water back from the bunches towards the roots denying the leaves and bunches optimal development conditions - it is all about survival in that instance.

If this happens and the bunches are not ripe, they will lose water, wrinkle and uneven or incomplete ripening will occur. They will look wilted and taste unripe and the effect is green flavours in the wine. So, it’s therefore important to irrigate at the correct times to avoid the vine stopping water flow to the bunches.

Tempranillo at Mellasat

Even though International Shiraz Day is on 28 July, our focus this month is on Tempranillo.

We are very proud of our Tempranillo. Temprano means ‘early’ in Spanish, and it is a variety that ripens early. The bunches are medium-sized, and the berries are not thick-skinned, therefore the tannins are much lower than for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Under normal conditions we would harvest the variety towards the end of February. Tempranillo grows well in a Mediterranean climate and likes heat. The variety is very sensitive during flower set if it rains. We were very lucky this year that the yields were up, and the quality was very good. The wine this year has good structure, layers of fruit with a well-balanced tannin structure. The wine will still mature for a while in barrel, and it is a wine that will be worth the wait.

We also use a small percentage of Tempranillo in our Revelation blend. The flavours of Tempranillo include mixed spice, marinated cherries, dark chocolate, a vanilla “sweetness” from barrel and much more.

Tempranillo is a wonderful food partner and pairs well with all Mediterranean flavours like Chorizo, marinated olives, Greek-style lamb shank, any tomato-based sauces, and even Moroccan spices.


Graze by the River Wine Club tasting

Mellasat Vineyards will be presenting 6 wines on the 1st July 2022 at Graze by the River in Port Alfred. If you are in the vicinity, please book as seats are limited. Having presented several tasting over the years we can highly recommend the venue and the food. Book a table afterwards for dinner and enjoy a wonderful evening in the company of Mellasat.

We will present our popular White Pinotage 2019, the new 2021 Dekker’s Valley Seraphic, Chardonnay 2018, Shiraz 2018, Tempranillo 2018, and the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon.

For more information, contact Nick at Graze by the River on 046 624 8095

Cellarmaster’s favourite hearty winter dishes

Our cellarmaster loves wine and food so Gizelle decided to share some of her recipes and we are hosting one weekend in July and one weekend in August where we will present her favourites winter dishes.

Dates: 16th – 17th July 2022 (Beef Stroganoff with Tagliatelle and seasonal green veggies)

13th – 14th August 2022 (Pork Cassoulet with Sweet Potato and seasonal green veggies)  

The menus will be available between 11:00 - 16:00 on Saturday and from 11:00 - 14:30 Sunday.

Price: R425.00 for 2 including a bottle of Dekker’s Valley Range

The deal does not include dessert however a small selection of desserts will be available. We also provide for Vegetarians, please advise when booking for the event.

Booking is essential for this popular event. Contact us on 021 862 4525 or email

Wine specials

Shiraz special in celebration of international Shiraz Day:

July mixed case

  • 2 x Dekker’s Valley Shiraz Rosé 2021
  • 2 x Mellasat Shiraz 2018
  • 2x Mellasat Tempranillo 2018

@ R925

Mellasat Shiraz 2018 x6 case special

@ R630

11+1 Dekker’s Valley Shiraz Rosé 2021

@ R990


Drink Responsibly. Not for persons under the age of 18.