In February 2014, I was on a small grape farm on Valley Road, Elgin, picking the first ever Sauvignon blanc destined for a Sauvignon blanc blend. As background, 90% of the time I make all my wines, even the same varietals from different regions, separate. They are picked one vineyard at a time; pressed and fermented as separate batches. Then, after a year in barrel (just before bottling), I decide how blends will be made up (this is called blending).

JCBOn the other side of the spectrum, the complete opposite way of blending is to add the different grapes together in the vineyard. This very seldom happens, as it is very rare that all the grapes aimed for a specific wine ripens on the same day. This is called a field blend, and it is exactly what happened with this wine. I had Sauvignon and Sémillon grapes, aimed at the same blend, ripening on the exact same day. So I tasted the Sauvignon blanc and the Sémillon on the spot and decided I needed 25% Sémillon and the balance Sauvignon blanc. I picked it like that and loaded the bakkie and trailer. 2.5 tons, a very obvious overload…

Now I was on the one side of the river with my 2.5 tons (on my own) and needed to get to the other side to head out of the valley. So I decided to drive around the vineyard and head down a road I had never driven on before. Thats where I got stuck. Completely and utterly. My (not 4×4) bakkie was just not strong enough to get the 2.5 tons over the hill onto the bridge to cross the dry river bed. To top it all, at that point, I discovered I had no cellphone signal. So you can just imagine my state of mind. Having left home at 4am for the umpteenth time (75 days into harvest), I was deeply tired, and frustrated and just completely stuck.

Not knowing what else to do, I walked through the river up the hill on the other side to get to the road that heads out the valley. Walking down the road looking for a signal, I passed a guy working next the road with a spade. He asked me where I was going. “I have a problem” I said. “Here in Grabouw we do not have problems” he replied. I pointed to my bakkie and the 2.5 ton overloaded trailer and replied: “That, there, is my problem… “. “That’s no problem, walk with me” he said.

And 100m down the road he pointed to a yellow JCB digger loader standing at the side of the road and said: ” that’s mine”. So instead of crossing the river on the bridge, I just drove my bakkie with the heavy trailer into the dry river bed, into the sand and got properly stuck. He reversed down the hill with the JCB and chain-pulled the bakkie with the trailer and the grapes up the hill at a angle where the front part of “only a Toyota can do” lifted a foot into the air. So up the hill we went onto the big road. I was so grateful and just wanted to hand out cash to say thank you. But they noticed a case of wine on my back seat and said: “hier vat ons nie geld nie, maar ’n man raak mos maar dors so teen die pad”.

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.

Please also make sure you add your name to our list below. You’ll be the first to know of new releases.

* indicates required