Yesterday I posted in the other blog the entrance of of the Sir Robert Stanford Estate. That had more likes than I expected….
Yes we have some great wines here in Stanford. Except for the one mentioned there are wineries that create their own wines such as Vaalvlei, Brunia, Stanford Hills, Springfontein, Boschrivier and Raka. Main produce are wines of the South African grape varieties Chenin Blanc and Pinotage next to more common known ones as Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz. And the farmers are investing for they see a prosperous future. Relatively many Platter stars are awarded to this area; in fact proportional more than to wineries in other wine producing areas within South Africa.
The pictures below were shot at Springfontein some time ago.
Thousands of books, magazines and webpages are written about landscapers who create gardens, public green, and minor landscapes in the open. Minor these are; for one tend to forget that the major landscapers in this world are the farmers. Where ever you travel, just look around. The images below I took last Tuesday on the way home from a day trip. The pictured landscapes are between Caledon and Stanford in the Western, Cape, South Africa.
A garden is very inspiration; especially ours but that’s because we know it upside-down and the other way around. Well…. that’s what we prefer to think. The truth however is a bit different and I am glad to get my daily surprises. Today’s big surprise is, with a bit of imagination, the dragon with its rider. Do you see them? They are coming your way.
Sometimes a few good wines can help. While strolling through the garden and imagining pictures one of these imaginary pictures went vertical and than reflected itself. Today’s wine was a Chenin Blanc (from our village) and if you zip this wine late Summer afternoon in rural slow pace …….. Wow!!!
Pity; the bottle is empty…. Need a refill.
Last week I submitted 3 posts about the grape harvest, the grape processing and, the most interesting part, the wine tasting. All pictures were shot at Springfontein Winery in our village Stanford, South Africa. The vineyards are located in a unique setting between lagoon and ocean. The terroir is sandy with lime scales (if we understood it correctly) and it’s an excellent underground for the South African grape varieties Pinotage and Chenin Blanc.
Anyway I made an impression (imaginary) of a day in the vineyard. Thanks to wonderful owners, management and other staff. I (and my wife Yvonne) really enjoyed your great hospitality!!!
This week I had two posts about the grape harvest and the grape processing at Springfontein Winery. I promised to keep the tasting ‘in the barrel’. Well …. tasting is something personal for everybody has his/hers own taste buds. The majority of overseas tourists in South Africa choose for tastings at cellars of which the wines are commonly known in the supermarkets abroad. And also most South Africans go mainstream. If you are as stubborn as I am go for a surprise. Who has ever heard of Reynecke in Stellenbosch? Sumsare in Robertson? Or Veenwouden in Drakenstein? And have you, until my first post about this subject, ever heard of Springfontein?
If you like the wine of an ‘unknown’ cellar just buy a bottle for a special occasion at home. If you can buy these ‘collectors items’ in Europe or where-ever you live you probably pay a fortune. The average price of South African mainstream wines in the mainland of Europe is, for whatever reason, 20 to 30% cheaper than at the cellar. Sounds strange but is true!
But also from a visual point of view the ‘unknown’ cellars can surprise you. See here the tasting room of Springfontein reflected…
Growing grapes is one thing but creating excellent wines of grapes demands at least as much craftmanship. Although modern technology helps the wine maker he/she still needs the, as the Germans say, ‘Fingerspitzengefuhl’. At Springfontein in Stanford, South Africa, the grapes are first manually graded (no machine can do it that good) and next the stalks and (partly) skins are automatically removed… well to keep a long story short: via cooling, pressing and (temporary) storage, etc. the wine matures in wooden barrels (and after that some wines mature a few extra years in the bottle in an optimal environment such as a cellar or climatized room).
You can read between the lines that wine-making is a kind of magic and I don’t understand any of it but I can tell you the difference between a good and not so good wine.
Let’s keep the tasting for tomorrow. Here a few post-harvest pictures.
Early Monday morning staff of Springfontein in Stanford, South Africa gathered together at the cellar. From there we all went to the vineyards settled in a great natural landscape. It must be a joy to start the annual harvest in such majestic surroundings in a strip of land between the lagoon and the ocean. The terroir of the Springfontein grapes is unique and the wines end up in private collections and upmarket restaurants in (merely German speaking) Europe.
See for yourself.