September marks the change of season in the southern hemisphere as days become longer and gently start to warm, this is the beginning of spring. This also heralds a significant step in the lifecycle of our precious grapevines, as they start to emerge from the winter dormancy and reanimate.

In preparation for this change of season, there is much to do in the vineyard where the cover crops that were grown through the winter months will be stomped down and tilled into the soil, replenishing vital nutrients to support healthy vines.

As the daylight hours increase, the ambient temperature rises, and the soils gently warm the vines start to use the stores of carbohydrates squirrelled away in the woody parts, energizing the start of the growing season. This phase is known as bud break, bringing new green growth appearing almost overnight as the vines push to grow new shoots and leaves to power the rest of the growing season. Various cultivars demonstrate bud break differently, some emerge as hair-covered cones while others show a clear green tip.

In a few weeks leaves multiply and vineyards are filled with vibrance. This sets the stage for the productive season … and we know a great wine starts in the vineyard! Come and take in this magical transformation for yourself with a visit to the Nest, Paserene’s tasting lounge, settled in the picturesque Franschhoek Valley. Throughout September, the Nest will be serving the Heritage platter in celebration of SA’s rich cultural heritage, marked by National Heritage Day on the 24th of September each year. The platter offers a selection of traditional eats such as snoek pâté, samosas, vetkoek, homemade grape jam and orange chutney, local biltong, droëwors, cheeses and olives with koeksisters for that quintessential sweet ending.

Plan your Franschhoek outing this September and remember that you can also find Paserene on the Wine Tram’s yellow and red lines.