Blending 2013 Wines

20 November 2013

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It’s almost time to put our 2013 wines into bottle, and we’ve been having a last look at the wines while they are sitting separately in barrel. Each wine comes from a different site and they are all incredibly individual. We have to make sure that they can work well together when blended. The rule of thumb for knowing if a blend works is that the resulting wine must be better than any of the individual parts. I’m a great fan of blending as it gives you a more varied palette from which to compose the final wine.

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It’s a nerve-racking time, and as I said to Hans Evenhuis, the owner of Hemelrand where I make the wines, it’s time the that the wines are married, with all the commitment that entails.

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Following our tastings, we’ve hit on two blends. The first is a Cape White Blend of Roussanne, Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Semillon blanc, and the second is a stand-alone blend of Semillons blanc and gris from a single vineyard in Franschhoek. These wines are super-exciting for me, as all I have wanted to do since I returned from travelling is to make distinctly South African wines, and I feel that these two wines are the beginnings of realising this.

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Once the wines are bottled we are going to let them rest for a few months to recover from ‘bottle shock’ (yes, it’s real), and that will give us time to put the final touches on labels and the rest of the packaging. And while all of that is going on, we’ve also got to handle our 2014 vintage, so there is a lot going on at the moment! It’s an amazing, challenging, thrilling, daunting and humbling experience, and we are loving every minute of it.

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