Graham Knox

March 2016

Favourable Winds

The famous leaning pines of Koekenaap show the effect of the intense south west ocean winds on plants growing on the north bank of the Olifants River.

Wind is invisible but it can leave visible traces. The Western Cape is the windiest major wine region in the world. Where the wind is strongest and most unrelenting, vines grow away from the regular wind direction, just like these pines.

Wind can remove flowers, break juvenile shoots, tear away leaves and create havoc among ripening fruit. Vines do not take this lying down. Even if their stems are at 45⁰, they add value to their fruit, so it may enable the next generation to find a better place to call home. More attractive fruit is the holy grail of the winemaker.

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