Make your own wine with the world’s best winemakers

Tuesday, 5 November, 2013
Sasha Planting, MoneyWeb
For most of us the closest we get to wine-making is the finished product in the bottle. Now former Zim tobacco farmer, Peter Stuart has developed a concept that allows people to share in and participate in the process of making their very own barrel of wine.
The business is known as Carteirra and uses its website – and a personalised dashboard - as a base. "You go on to the site, or engage with us directly," Stuart says. "You select a particular cultivar or vineyard, you are allocated a winemaker, and you select a barrel which then becomes uniquely yours.”

Participation starts from the moment the vines bud in spring, through harvest and the pressing of the grapes, to cellaring. Each milestone is meticulously documented on the client’s personal website.

Once in the barrel clients are invited to bi-annual tastings. In South Africa it would be at Stuart’s farm, Maremmana just outside Hermanus where the wine is cellared. Once the wine is ready for bottling clients can submit their own labels. The result is a wine that they have helped nurture every step of the way and in which is now uniquely theirs.

Stuart offers clients the choice of producing a cabernet sauvignon or shiraz from South Africa’s Walker Bay region; a cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay from California; a merlot from Bordeaux or a Syrah from Languedoc in France. Considering clients are invited to join the harvest, attend dinners at the estate and participate in the wine tastings and decision making, most people opt for the country of their residence.

Not that that has stopped wine lovers in Hong Kong. “Hong Kong and China are one of the fastest growing wine markets in the world. I have seven clients there and we visit twice a year,” says Stuart. When it comes to the wine tasting those in remote locations are sent samples in advance and participate via Skype.

Of course it’s not quite the same as clipping the bunch off the vine yourself, or experiencing a tasting right there in the cellar.

The consulting wine-makers are some of the best in the world.

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