Harvest 2012: done! Travelled 6950km in 6 weeks, picked 24 vineyards – a total of 16 varietals from Elgin to Hopefield.
Seeing that I’ve been stuck in the rather fortunate albeit mildly inconvenient position of BLANKbottle being sold out since December, I thought it good to kill some time until the release of the new wines (My Koffer Cinsaut 2011, E.K.G. Petit Verdot 2011, Moment of Silence Chenin/Char/Viognier 2011, Midnight Call Cab/Mer/Cab franc/Petit/Malbec 2011, My eie Stofpad Cab franc 2011 and The BOMB Cab/Mer 2010) and tell you the story about my 5-year old son Luca’s first bottle of wine he made himself.
Read this here on my brand NEW WEBSITE… All new website comments are very welcome – Keep it critical, yet constructive creative (remember to first clear your browsing history).
Luca’s first wine: A tale of Education and passing along Culture and Skills

Tired of repeatedly explaining why I have to leave early mornings and sometimes be out late at night during harvest, I decided to show my son Luca what I do in the day in a practical way. So I took some of HIS money (the princely sum of R5) and bought grapes.
We sat down on our lawn and destemmed the grapes by hand. The berries went into any right-sized pots we could lay our hands on in the kitchen and 2 days later the kitchen was scattered with pots of fermenting Stellenbosch Shiraz. Three times per day Luca had to do punch downs with the potato masher (which he refers to as a deurdrukker). This action keeps the grape skins wet to extract as much colour and taste as possible. Post-fermentation skin contact took place where after we pressed (not without some complaints I might add) by hand.  I sold him a bottle and a cork for R6 and he then bottled his first wine. He drew the (dinosaur) label by hand and we labeled and waxed the bottle. Our arrangement worked well: he did the work, I made the rules.
The bottle then went to Ouma 1 who made an offer to purchase and then to Ouma 2 who gave a deposit as well as an offer to purchase. I felt it my responsibility to teach him the business principle of supply and demand whilst we were at it and the price by bidding is subsequently fast exceeding R150 for the bottle. At the time of going to press the bottle had not yet been allocated to the highest bidder (another close relative has since expressed interest in entering the bidding process) but the rules of sale are as follows: Whoever buys the wine needs to pay him in R5 coins. Luca then needs to repay the money he used for buying the grapes, cork and bottle. Furthermore, he has to give a few coins of the balance to someone who needs it, where after it has to be split in 3 piles. He can then spend the first pile on himself, the 2nd needs to go into his piggybank and with the 3rd he can buy more grapes before the season is out.
Anyhow, Luca has already used the deposit paid by Ouma 2 to buy more grapes. So, once again, our kitchen is filled with pots of Cabernet franc fermenting must. What happens now remains to be seen but I foresee many lessons to be learnt (for instance when he reaches the point of having more bottles to sell than interested or sympathetic buyers – the goal of staying on the right side of supply and demand…).

E-mail: pieter@blankbottle.co.za
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 aneen@blankbottle.co.za 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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