Kanu Private Cellar & Vineyards Newsletter - March 2013

Thursday, 28 March, 2013
Kanu Private Cellar & Vineyards
Dew drops catch my eye as I put an ice cold grape in my mouth. It bursts open with fresh, beautiful, flavours. It feels like I must have sleep walked all the way to this vine, but now I am suddenly awake.
Around me the world seems to awaken with purple and pink clouds transforming from the deep blue sky. Birds chitter and chatter about what seems to be the events of yesterday, today and who knows? Maybe even tomorrow? All my senses are awakened. I think it is sometimes more important to switch off that cellphone/TV/computer for an hour/day/weekend and go back to the basics. Keep it simple. Put your feet in water. Sit and stare at the fire when you are making a braai. Laugh at fat sausage dogs who only want to steal more grapes off the vines.

In last month’s letter I said how I was going to work one night in the cellar... What fun! First I got to make the yeast batch for the Pinot Noir. Of cause I first drank about a litre of fresh Pinot Noir juice, without Johan knowing and ended up with a type of brain freeze because it is sooo sweet. But most of the night I either sorted grapes, cleaned machines or swept grape skins into piles, before scooping it on to a truck for composting. My arms were stiff, my hair had grape juice in it and my clothes were soaked. But I absolutely LOVED it! I actually ended up doing it on a weekly basis. Now, I am officially accepted as one of the team and feel like a top scout, farm girl or otherwise known as Super Woman!

But, lets get back to the interesting part. The Cellar has literally been bubbling and brewing on this side of Stellenbosch. Please go and have a look at the video and see of how the Chardonnay, Viognier and KCB sound when they are fermenting. (The sound has not been edited. It is not a bubble bath and no, it is not a fake.) This is just what they sound like during their natural fermentation period. Both of these wines are now fermented dry, alongside most of the wines in the Cellar. The only grapes still coming in are those of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Mouvedre, Petit Verdot and the Chenin Blanc for the Noble Late Harvest. The Noble Late Harvest promises to be stunning this year, as the humidity and moisture in the air has created perfect conditions for Botrytis.

he Shiraz and the Grenache have fermented dry. Johan does hourly punch-down to optimise skin contact for the wine to ensure good colour and tannin binding. If you have time to look at my pictures, you will see how amazing the colour is looking of both wines. For the past 2 years, Johan has decided to only use natural fermentation for red wines that undergo barrel maturation, as with the Chardonnay, KCB and Viognier . This includes the wines for the Keystone, Shiraz and GSM. Johan is trying to keep things as natural as possible; he doesn’t add enzymes either. He believes that when you make wine in a more natural kind of way, the complexity of the wine will be much greater as a greater spectrum of flavours are released.

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