Our latest instalment of wine making news is no different from previous years, the baboons and birds once more made off with all the grapes.
Well we did actually get one tiny, half-filled bucket of Merlot this year but not enough to make a bottle of wine. So it was once again onto the phone with our tale of misery. The result we were able to source a tonne of excellent Merlot from Bot River.
The de-stemmer we had used last year was not available so it was back to good old foot stomping and the traditional ‘dunk a Privett kid in the fermentation tank’. We have learnt from previous sessions that the trick is to remove the kid before their skin turns that Rose’ colour, got it just right this year.
We also seem to be getting the hang of dealing with seriously fluctuating temperature in the garage – nothing that some roof insulation matting and a wall heater can’t sort out. This year the grapes arrived late and we had already planned a long-delayed family trip up the Garden Route so we called in our staunch supporter and wannabe wine making good friend Phillipa Murray, gave her a crash course in managing fermentation in a Jo-Jo tank in a garage and headed for some happy hols. She did a fab job and showed total commitment to the cause – the result is that just ten weeks after stomping our grapes we are ready to rack, fine and bottle the wine.
This year we are going to fill one oak barrel and bottle the rest. Its tasting good and those fireside winter evenings are calling, I don’t think there will be too many bottles left for Christmas presents.