Du Toitskloof Newsletter - April 2013

Friday, 26 April, 2013
Du Toitskloof Winery
Silent support
You can’t look back on the vintage without realising how dependent you are on your fellow winemakers and your cellar team; in my case, on Willie, Mot, Jaco, Tiaan and Anet, on Derek, Balie, Setjhaba, Jeffrey, Sanele, Alfred, David and Eleveno.
However, I really want to single out Tiaan Loubser who heads up our on-site laboratory – not because he is more deserving of praise, but because the role of the laboratory in the quality of any wine is so seldom recognised. The same goes for Mot, but I’ll get round to him in a moment.
On a hectic day the laboratory analyses up to a hundred samples, determining the sugar, the acid, the pH of the grapes in every single load that is delivered to the cellar. Tiaan, who is still a youngster, joined us from a wine estate close by where he also headed up the research laboratory. He adapted very quickly despite the fact that he found the pace at Du Toitskloof somewhat more hectic than what he was used to. In any cellar quick, accurate and reliable analysis is crucial when you have to decide quickly how to treat a particular load while the trucks are queuing up to drop their cargo and that is what Tiaan has provided us with throughout the season.
Mot is one of our winemakers. Call him by his real name, Chris Geldenhuys, and he will probably walk right passed you without realising you were talking to him. This year I threw him in at the deep end by leaving the fermentation of all the red cultivars to him. I sat on the sidelines and didn’t interfere, although at times it took all the restraint I could muster! But Mot came out on top and triumphantly so, and we shall be producing beautiful red wines this year from the start he made. Just goes to show.