We only have one shot per year.
For the first 13 years of my adult working life, I was all over the place; trying to figure out what I liked. It was only after my 2nd and 3rd kids were born that it hit me: Each time a wine presented some sort of unique character, I was impressed – exposed honesty in a way. It’s the sort of x-factor that can’t be created by the hand of man, but comes from a deeper place, somewhere unexplainable. The variety or style wasn’t what was intriguing me, it was all about exposing true character.
So I embarked on a journey through styles, areas and varieties. And this stumbled-upon revelation became our own blueprint.
But in the business of nature, there’s an inherent catch. My daughter likes baking. She produces at the speed of light and could potentially nail a specific style in a few days. Nature, on the other hand, produces a crop but once a year. If you miss the mark, you have to take another trip around the sun before you can try again – and hopefully reach your goal when you’re still relevant in the marketplace! The ever so slow turning wheel of a business who lives by the seasons.
So my quest to make a characterful Pinotage started at the tender age of 43. A bit of a late start. I call it Project Saint Rand.
To experience some of the first chapters of this journey, see below for 3 stylistic-different, but honest, characterful wines selling now.
Saint Rand 2019
A Darling old bush-vine vineyard picked ripe but not overly ripe. Aimed for freshness but with structure and depth. We ended up with an alcohol of 13.5 – Perfectly matured grapes.
The same Darling vineyard, but this time picked very early – fresh and lighter – an alcohol of 12.51%.
Saint Rand 2020 – Stellenbosch bottling
One has to give Stellenbosch a chance, so we did the first Stellenbosch picking – Here we went ripe and ended with a big fellow. Lekke extraction with a hefty alcohol of 15%.
So here we go. You’re welcome to join in on the journey without any preconceived destination.