One of my goals at BLANKbottle is to develop one new wine per year. In 2007, Moment of Silence white blend saw the light and in 2008 BLACK and THE WHITE BLACK were born. These wines are now made year on year. This year it took 11 different cultivars from 17 geographically diverse vineyards to produce these 3 wines.
To make you a part of this year’s new wine, I thought I’d share a day in my life with you. But before I do that, I’d like to backtrack a bit to how I choose a vineyard. I normally plan and conceptualize a new wine, and then only go in search of the right vineyard to produce that wine. The new wine for 2011 took considerable effort to produce. It took the whole of 2010 to locate the right vineyard. I knew exactly what I was looking for and only found it late last year (again in an area that I never would have guessed I’d buy grapes from. Never say never…)
Harvest day started with the alarm clock going off at 4am. The challenge is not to get up at that early time, but to get ready and leave the house without waking the kids (our house rule: you wake them, you keep them). At 5am I was at the winery where I loaded exactly 51 prewashed “kissies” onto the heavy duty trailer I’d rented the day before. An hour later I was driving into the beautiful valley where the vineyard is situated.
The specific cultivar I’m making is an extremely tricky varietal and correct picking is key to the final outcome. I organized a team of 20 people to help pick the grapes. We only picked the morning sunlight side of the rows, hand selecting the bunches and ended up only picking 10% of what the vine had to offer. We started picking at 7am and due to strict quality control it took us a ridiculous 3 hours to pick only 51 “kissies” (That’s just under a ton of grapes / 600 bottles of wine). Another hour and 15 minutes later I was back at the winery, where the grapes went into the cool room. For the following morning I’d arranged a team of 5 people to, once again, hand sort each bunch of grapes and remove all unripe berries, raisins etc. The grapes then went back into the cool room. In the late afternoon it all went into small 500l open top wooden fermenters. I first crushed a specific amount of the grapes by stepping on it with my (clean) feet and then added a few whole bunches as well as de-stemmed grapes (all potentially adding different dimensions to the wine). Then only the process of fermentation started – the first step in making the wine…
All this was done for one vineyard. Now you can just imagine the amount of organizing that goes into picking 17 different vineyards… And I am still a very small producer… Well, as things are standing now, the wine is in the final stages of fermentation and I’m planning to press early next week. See facebook for photos.
Besides the four wines mentioned, I have 6 EPIC new ones on their way to bottle. I’m anticipating an exceptional year.
Please go to my BLOG for pictures on the harvest (and my clean feet) and see below for the wines now selling. Reply to this e-mail with your order, make up mixed cases or go to and buy online.

Telephone: +27 (0)82 872 8658

Please note

Due to the many small batches of wines we make, availability changes on a daily basis. Please email if you’d like to order any of our wines or if you are looking for a specific wine, and she will reply with a list of wines now selling. If the wine you are looking for is sold out, we could suggest some alternative excitement and/or we could also put together a unique selection for you.

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