Greetings from a chilly Paardeberg.
We have had a busy month here on Vondeling. We have planted 4 hectares of Merlot and 1 hectare of Semillon. Exported wines to Mauritius, Germany, China, UK and France and there have been 4 weddings. Our Aberdeen Angus cows have been calving like mad and as I write 48 out of our 51 cows have given birth with no hitches. 3 to go. Our 2 bulls, Felix and Jack are getting quite frustrated and keep breaking out of their paddocks and trying to get to their girls! To cap it all, Matthew Copeland our Senior Winemaker celebrated ten years at Vondeling.
It is always a seriously major decision when deciding what grape variety to plant. One has to consider what the particular soil/site is best suited for, as well as being able to turn it into a top wine which we can sell for the next 25 years.
It’s also incredibly expensive! Taking an old vineyard out is a laborious task removing first old vines, that are sometimes rooted as deep as 1.5 to 2 meters , followed by old trellising poles, trellising wires and old irrigation lines. Soil sampling then takes place and tests done at the lab to ascertain what levels of lime and ameliorates (potassium, phosphates, manganese etc) need to be added before ripping (sub soiling) takes place. The vineyard also needs to lie fallow for a year. Following marking out (got to get your rows straight) poles and vines are planted and new dripper lines layed out. Final cost….approxmately R225,000/Ha ( About US$18,000). The first decent crop arrives 3 years later.
It was very exciting to see our premium Bordeaux blend, Philosophie 2014, being shipped off to Bordeaux! 240 bottles were purchased by a French gentleman from arguably the most famous wine region in the world. He also purchased 40 cases of the 2015 Babiana white blend.
It is really fantastic that Matthew Copeland,our senior winemaker celebrated 10 years at Vondeling. In the 2016 Platter wine guide he achieved the wonderful accolade of getting 5 ***** for our premium white wine Babiana 2015 and then this year achieved 5***** again for our premium red wine Erica 2012. The 2013 vintage was also awarded a Veritas Double gold. Other awards are too many to mention and its been a real pleasure having Matt around for the last 10 years. During this time he has also married an extremely beautiful lady (Yolandi) who haS given him 2 lovely sons Josh (2) and Henry (6months)
We have just released the Vondeling 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (limited quantities, get it while you can) and the Baldrick shiraz 2016. The 2017 Rosé, also recently released, has already picked up its first piece of gold at the 2017 Gold Wine Awards! Not bad for 58.00 a bottle! The current Erica vintage, 2014 was awarded 91 points, making it the 2nd highest scoring wine in Winemag.co.za’s Signature Red Wine Review. For more details on the competition, click here.
The chapel was a romantic place this August
Finally, I thought the picture above, taken yesterday, wonderfully encapsulates the Afrikaans phrase: Boer maak a plan” taken outside the winery.
Spring is approaching, there’s a lot of loving to be done and great wine to drink. Enjoy September
Until next time.