Pressing Semillon

8 February 2013

It’s been a long day of pressing, made a bit longer by the normal harvest electrical hiccups. I think that by the time I retire as a winemaker, I could probably qualify as an electrician, given all of the little problems that I’ve had to deal with through the years.

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Semillon crates all tucked up under insulation and ready to hit the road (left). Dark oxidised Semillon juice straight from the press (right) – I’m going to come back to this when the wine is finished.

I’m really excited about this block of old vines Semillon that Chris helped me find. I picked up the first load yesterday, pressed it today and now it is cold-settling in tank. Check out the photo of the juice. No, that is not a Friday evening Pale Ale (it takes a lot of beer to make great wine), but rather unmolested Semillon juice. No additions, no SO2, no enzymes, just pure potential. I’m a bit too tired to really express how excited I am about this block. It has such understated depth, and is going to provide a real core to what I am blending. I think it’s got the potential to be a massive component in a Cape white blend, as Semillon is a real cornerstone in our viticultural history here.

The best thing about this block is that I get another crack at it as Semillon gris. I’m really giving a lot of thought as to how I want to nail down what I think this can be. What I want to make,  I have not seen or tasted before, so I’m drawing on a pure concept of a wine. Damn, but there are times that I really love my job!

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Barrels also arrived today! (All old, well cared-for burgundy pieces) Can’t wait to take the Chardonnay to barrel on Sunday. That was racked off its gross lees today, and is starting to show some great depth of flavour.

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