Monday, September 24, 2007

Back from overseas!

What a great trip. I went to Germany, England and Holland for the Cape Winemakers Guild to promote both the guilds wine, as well as that of Warwick. I had an absolute blast and the amount of positive feedback is really reassuring.

The German tasting was held in Hamburg at the Intercontinental hotel, and was one of the most stylish tastings I have been to. We did the tasting with the Guild wine in partnership with the Sauvignon blanc society and WOSA, and the synergy proved very positive.

About 100 people attended the tasting that was held on the same day as that of all the new German wines that where being, released, so we were very fortunate to have such a good attendance. The view over the city, combined with Cape tapas and good feedback from the tasters made the tasting really worth while.

Hamburg surprised as a city and with its people, to make this tasting extremely memorable.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

London Hamburg Amsterdam

Next week I am starting my mini world tour for the Cape Winemakers Guild. I will be giving tastings in Germany, England and Holland. I will be traveling with another guild member, David Trafford, and we will show off the wines from the guild. I will have time in between to visit some clients and see what is happening in the bigger wine world.

Very exciting stuff. I have already started packing my bags. The country mouse is off to see the world.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Moving wine wine wine

The most common activity in the cellar is racking wine. This means we take the wine out of barrel, into a tank and back into the same barrel. This seems an exercise in futility at first, but it is a very important part of the process.

Through racking we get a chance to add air to the wine, inadvertently, and we also check the sulphur levels to protect the wine against oxidation and spoilage.

We have 800 barrels in total and we try to rack them three times a year. The job a very labour intensive, but the end result is worth it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Topping barrels

During ageing some wine is lost because of evaporation. If the room is very humid the alcohol content of the wine will actually go down while if the room is very dry the alcohol content will go up slightly.

To prevent the staves in the barrels from drying out we therefore have to top barrels once a month. This is quite a big task if you have 800 barrels and we use quite a bit of wine in the process. This is also the main time when the wine gets some air contrary to most peoples belief that air comes in through the staves.

So our main aim today is to top and replace the bit of wine comonly referd to as the angels share.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Roll up, roll up!

The 2007 Professor Black is out. We finished labelling the wine last week so get your orders in. The Trilogy 2005 is also labelled so you can get some of that at the same time.

This week we are moving the last of the 2007 red wines to barrel and then we will start racking the red wines from the 2006 vintage.

Barrels barrels barrels. I will be counting barrels in my sleep.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Getting ready for labelling

We have started folding the boxes for the Professor Black 2007. We have stickers for Germany, the USA and the rest of the world. It takes quite a bit of planning to organise this effort.

Next week we will label the most urgent Professor black 2007 orders as well as the Trilogy 2005 orders. We will have a few days in the next to label the rest so I hope we finish everything.

Not long now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bottling bottling bottling

Yes folks, its that time of the year again. All those who have signed up for pre orders of the 2007 Professor Black Sauvignon blanc and the 2005 Trilogy will soon be rewarded. We are finally bottling the wine this week.

Bottling is a tricky operation and after spending months( and years with the Trilogy) this is the time that I must safely put the wine in the bottle. It can be very tricky so we are ultra careful.

After this week of heavy bottling we will finally label the wine at the end of the month so the wine should be ready in the first week of June.

Patience will definitely be rewarded.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Chardonnay is next!

Finally getting round to the Chardonnay and it was well worth the wait.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Nearly finished with the sauvignon blanc

One more day to go and that is it. The weather girl predicts some rain for the weekend and we are heeding her warning and finishing off with the Sauvignon blanc.

 Thirsty work.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sauvign Blanc being crushed

Watch the video
Some of the first Suavignon Blanc grapes from the 2007 harvest being crushed - very exciting stuff!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Anyone seen our barrels?

We lost a few barrels on the MSC Napoli, which has gone aground off the southern coast of England. If anybody sees one of our barrels please let us know because we need it for harvest.
Harvest has started

It is absolutely crazy here with the warm weather causing all the grapes to ripen at once.

We took in a ton of Chardonnay for sparkling wine on Tuesday and we are starting on the Pinotage today. Next week it will be sauvignon sauvignon sauvignon.

We are off with a bang and it can only be fun.

Fire in the Winelands

Watch the video
On the 24th of january 2007, a ferocious fire swept through the vineyards of Stellenbosch in the cape. Through an amazing partnership between the vignerons and the South African air force, a major tragedy was averted. Pictures and video cannot convey the immense scale o=r the intense heat of the fire. No lives were lost!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Harvest is coming up

Slowly getting ready for harvest here. Me and Ronald had look at the vineyards and they are coming on fine. This year we had a lot less wind than last year and good rains in winter so there is no sign of water stress.

The evenings are cool which is great fro the Sauvignon blanc we will proably start harvesting first. This year we will be harvesting about 70 tons of Sauvignon blanc which will be our biggest harvest to date. Great news for all those clamouring for the Sauvignon blanc.

This year we will have two interns in the cellar. Ben Portet is from Australia and is joining us after a harvest in France. Together with Anne Bullen, who is doing her final year studying winemaking at Stellenbosch University, we will be six people in the cellar for harvest.