All the very best for the New Year! Please see below my let’s-consider-the-weird-stuff newsletter. If you do not feel like reading, you have the option to view it as a YouTube video. I recorded it myself (whilst driving…), don’t worry – I had my safety belt on.

Something has been nagging at my mind for the last couple of years. Why do certain barrels from the same batch of wine perform so much better than others, when it receives nothing more than additional attention?
I’ve seen it happen many times, like the 2011 Moment of Silence vintage for instance. Some of the barrels struggled with fermentation – something we couldn’t do much about at the time. So we just ” faff-ed”; we discussed it, tasted it, re-tasted it, dreamed about it and discussed it some more – in short: we spent way more time with those barrels than any of the others. The result: significantly superior quality wine.
The other day a friend of mine mentioned that he’d seen the same effect where he grows fruit. Whenever they identify a so-called problem orchard with low production or quality, they would start the process of removing such an orchard. It normally takes a year of expert analysis, meeting upon meetings, discussion upon discussions; ultimately resulting in everyone spending much more time with the trees, talking to and about them. The next year that specific orchard would then, without fail, perform considerably better than the previous year. They’ve seen this so many times that they now consider it a strategy – and note that they don’t do anything different to the orchard than just spend more time with it!
A well-known saying in farming circles is that the farmer’s footprints are the best fertilizer for crops. But are there more to this, besides the increase of the physical observation opportunities?
So this brings me to the question that I’ve been struggling with for many years: is there even the slightest possibility that a vineyard can “hear” you? Or feel your presence? This is a topic I know nothing about besides my practical observations. Is this a fact that I should consider in my approach to my vineyards? So if you have any experience in this, or have a story to share – bring it on! What if we could quantify this in a way? Let’s explore this together in the year to come. In the mean time I’ll spend every spare moment talking to the 2012 vintage (just in case they are, as I suspect, indeed listening). See a photo of my most recent speaking-to-the-plants trip to Elgin.

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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