Sunday Special

From Wikipedia: “Mourvèdre (also known as Mataró or Monastrell) is a red wine grape variety that is grown in many regions around the world including the Rhône and Provence regions of France, the Valencia and Jumilla denominaciones de origen of Spain”.

Yesterday we were at Fraai Uitzicht 1798 in Robertson, one of the few cellars in South Africa that produce wine of this grape variety. Fraai Uitzicht 1798 is the meeting place for some of the best wine makers in South Africa. The cellar dates back to 1740 and is one of the oldest of its kind in South Africa with the original fermentation tanks. 1798 was the year the homestead was build. The cellar produces around 25000 bottles per year and these find their way to guests in their own accommodation and restaurant and to collectors around the globe.

Harvest on its way

Shot along the road near Bonnievale in the Western Cape, South Africa: vineyards as far as the eye reaches. Soon these vineyards will be swarmed with grape pickers and (for the cheaper wines) with harvesting machines.

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After the harvest and tomorrow we taste

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.

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