Harvest at Gabrielskloof: managing red wine ferments

Foot treading a whole-bunch ferment to release some juice

I’ve been enjoying working with some of the red wine fermentations this week. Wines are fermented here in two different formats. First, there are the small poly bins which take about a ton and a half of grapes, and which are suitable for small lots, or […]

Winemaking at Gabrielskloof: pressing Chenin Blanc and sorting Pinot Noir

My first day in the cellar at Gabrielskloof was a busy one. This cellar is shared by Peter-Allan Finlayson (who makes Crystallum wines, and also Gabrielskloof, his wife Nicolene’s family winery), John Seccombe (Thorne and Daughters), and Marelise Niemann (Momento), and this means there’s plenty going on.

The day started with some pressing of Chenin Blanc. […]

Making Provence rosé

A modern winery adapted for making rosé, at Château de Berne

Rosé is a technical wine. This past few days I’ve been quizzing winemakers on just how they go about making it. Here’s a short introduction to making rosé wines, and how the winemaking decisions have implications for the final flavour.

Reception area for machine-harvested […]

Video: harvesting and pressing Chardonnay in the Napa Valley, California

Here’s a video from last week’s trip to Napa. We got to take part in vintage, and this short clip shows harvesting and pressing Chardonnay grapes at Truchard Vineyards, Carneros. It’s really interesting to see the process first hand: just look at the colour of the juice that comes out of the press!

Visiting Constantia (1) - Klein Constantia and making Vin de Constance

On Friday most of the judges from the Top 100 visited two wineries in nearby Constantia. First up, Klein Constantia, who make the wonderful sweet wine Vin de Constance. Winemaker Adam Mason explained how the Vin de Constance was made from the 10 hectares of Muscat de Frontignan vines on the property.

First, one block – […]

Vinification Integrale

Just written up a visit to Anthonij Rupert, a South African producer with one of the most remarkable wineries you’ll ever see.

For their top reds, they use a system of barrel fermentation called Vinification Integrale. Normally, barrel fermenting reds isn’t possible because of the skins, pips and other solid bits. Some winemakers take one end […]