Thursday, 24 April 2014


Winemaking always involves a small part design and a great deal of chance. This is especially so for Johan and others who make wine the traditional way with wild yeasts from the grapes themselves and minimal interference. The outcome is wine which expresses very clearly the nature of the particular season’s conditions, rather than conform to a commercially driven uniformity.

So what were the conditions of harvest 2014? Good winter with late rains followed by serious heat waves meant that the harvest was condensed with early varieties ripening late (due to the late heat) and late varieties early (due to the heat’s intensity)  The long period of winter and spring wet meant on the one hand that we lost our Cabernet to mildew, but on the other hand later varieties had enough water not to be stressed when the furious heat descended.  How exactly all this translates into the wines themselves is still to be seen, although the reds are brimful of berry flavours with Cosmos, the dry Rosé, already bottled and delicious. The unwooded Chenin will be bottled next week and all the rest will bide their time in barrel until they are ready for bottling. Their character will then be apparent.

Overall Johan is pleased and we look forward to it being 'a good year'.

Thanks goes to all those who helped us pick and make wine, including our staff (Basil, Jacob and Abraham), and all the volunteers who worked very hard day and sometimes night (Simon, Suzanna, Raymund, Mark, Charlie and Craig). Thanks also to Marne and Shiralee who helped out on one of our busiest days.)

It all starts with the hard work of harvesting.
Clockwise from top left: 1. Loading crates. 2. Craig, Alex and Simon moving grapes. 3. Destemming. 4. Mark pressing.

Clockwise from top left: 1. Simon at the destemmer crusher. 2. Winemaking. 3. Wines in barrels. 4. Suzannah on pump duty.

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