Some may think that winemakers only work during harvest, but a lot has to happen during the winter months to set you up for a successful growing season. Here’s a condensed visual diary of what we have been up to…
It’s a special thing to go through all the seasons with the vines; from hibernation in the cold (and hopefully always wet) winters, to new life & growth in spring, to full bloom and harvest in summer.
Things in the cellar slow down a notch in the cooler months, and we monitor the malolactic fermentation and make sure all the barrels are topped up. Malolactic fermentation (mlf) is where the sharper malic acid, occurring naturally in grape must, is converted to lactic acid, a ‘softer’ acid. This process is catalyzed by a bacteria which can occur naturally or be added to the wine. We let our Red wines go through mlf naturally, and here and there a white barrel sneaks through by default.
Cold wet days are also spent hand labelling; this winter we labeled the Free Reign Edition 1 for the first time.
This year we planted some promising varietals like Lledoner Pelut (otherwise called the hairy Grenache or Garnacha Peluda). It’s even more drought resistant than Grenache, with fine hairs on the leaves reducing transpiration and ripening at a lower sugar level. Barbera is a high acidity grape from Piedmont in Italy and Petit Manseng, a fabulous high-acid, thick-skinned grape from the Jurançon in France. We can’t wait to see how these perform in our extreme Malgas terroir.
We had some fabulous events over the last few months including having our Touriga Nacional 2012 at the Nederburg Auction, selling for just over R500 pb, proving that these wines are worth the investment. We also showed our Free Reign at Caroline’s Red Wine Review, hosted Matt Manning for another great Soirée and took over De Hoop for a special wine & food weekend.