The final day of my Elgin vintage experience 2017 was spent with biodynamic winery Elgin Ridge.
This is a film of the day:
We went to the vineyards where Sauvignon Blanc was being harvested. The grapes were looking perfect.
The grapes are harvested in lug boxes and then taken a short distance to the winery.
Also being harvested, after the Sauvignon was finished, was some Semillon. This was also looking very nice.
Owner Brian Smith described the plan for the day.
The first job was to take the riper bit of the Sauvignon and foot tread it in small bins, to make a skin-contact/carbonic component for the new Chaos wine, which is a blend of Sauvignon and Semillon. You can see me foot treading this on the video. Dry ice and some sulphur dioxide were added, and the whole bin was then sealed up with plastic wrap around the lid.
The rest of the Sauvignon was destemmed and crushed.
Some of it was pumped into a couple of barrels. Above you can see a barrel with some dry ice in the bottom. The end of the barrel has been taken off and the Sauvignon will ferment in this like a red wine, in contact with the skins, before being pressed off.
The barrels are then sealed up to allow fermentation to begin without too much air contact.
The rest of the destemmed and crushed Sauvignon goes to the press. Above is the juice running off the grapes that are being loaded into the press.
The Semillon arrived early afternoon, looking in good shape.
Again, this was part foot-trodden in bins, and part sent to barrel for fermentation.
A Pinot had finished fermenting and was ready to be de-egged. These concrete eggs are manufactured in South Africa and are much cheaper than bringing over a Nomblot (the original, most famous egg) from Europe. They are great for fermentation and ageing of both reds and whites, and add a nice texture. The first job is to remove the wine.
Then it’s time for Kosie to get all the skins out, which is a job that requires him to go inside the egg and use his hands.
The skins are then shovelled into the press, and pressed.
ELGIN HARVEST EXPERIENCE