Kanu Newsletter April 2013 - Thai Butternut Soup & Rockwood Red

Monday, 29 April, 2013
Kanu Private Cellar & Vineyards
Pink skies in the morning are the shepherd’s warning!” That was one of the first things someone told me when my family and I moved to Stellenbosch in 1998. I always found it a very odd saying, as the Stellenbosch morning skies always have a tendency to be some shade of pink.
(Yes, my life as a shepherd would never have worked out!) Well... this saying was the first thing I thought of when I went outside with the dogs early bells this morning. A striking image of black mountains and dark grey skies, with florescent pink splatters in between.

Summer has come to an end and the days have turned cold, as we suddenly find ourselves suddenly sleeping with socks again. (Yes, I know most of you are having a good laugh at us. “Cold” in Stellenbosch means anything under 19° C, and not the crazy coldness you are used to after your extreme winter!) Rain is coming, and big rain at that. Today alone they are expecting 35mm to fall and tomorrow 50mm. Emergency safety unites have been activated as gale force winds and storms head our way.

The funny thing is that with all this talk of bad weather, all anyone can talk of is SOUP! So tomorrow we plan to make and eat meaty, split-pea soup, the way our grandmothers used to make it! YUM! I love how food is something that can be so simple, yet have such a lasting effect on people’s moods and state of minds. Other than the weather, the “talk of the town” has been the Basket Press on Kanu. And I don’t mean the kind that uses electricity! This is as “old-school” as you get, with a lever that is used to work up the pressure. Although we have been going back to basics for the last couple of years, with the natural fermentation of most of our red wines, this was the first time I have ever seen a basket press outside of Stellenbosch museum. This is Johan’s personal press and a beauty of its kind, with the “basket” made of pure French oak.

Johan’s basket is “big” enough to fit a half-ton of fermented grape skins, which has been left in contact with the juice for weeks with hourly punch-downs. Each batch gets pressed, before the skins are loosened and pressed for a second time. No wonder these guys don’t need to go to the gym during harvest time, with this little lever working every arm and shoulder muscle they have! After all the wine was pressed, the blends were made before it was moved into the barrels.

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