Springfield Estate - 2018 Wild Yeast is here!

Monday, 4 March, 2019
Springfontein Wine Estate
Today, on the first of March 2019, we will officially be six months without our beloved Wild Yeast Chardonnay. Six months is a long time, we know. We have lived without the 2017 Wild Yeast for longer than it was a released wine, and to say that this was frustrating for both us, and you, would be an understatement.

The thing is, here at Springfield we never take the easy way out or the quickest road to the finish. We don’t make the decisions that are easiest on our pockets, but instead, we make the decisions that are best for the wines.

In the case of the Wild Yeast Chardonnay, this means being patient - very patient. Using natural yeast to ferment wine, especially white wine, is always a risky decision. As wine writer Jamie Goode once said, “If natural wine risks becoming a runaway train, then wild fermentation is a flag you wave as it passes by”. Natural yeast is fickle - sometimes lazy, sometimes overly energetic, sometimes prone to dying on us halfway through a ferment. Natural yeast is often slow - the Wild Yeast Chardonnay takes anything from 3 months to 9 months to finish alcoholic fermentation. If and when the wine decides to successfully finish a fermentation (we have about a 70% success rate) we then leave it on the lees for up to 13 months, in order to further build body and texture.

If we are happy with the wine - and only if we are happy - do we decide that it can be bottled and sold. The waiting game isn’t over yet - after bottling we insist that the wines spends at least 3 months or longer in the bottle until we release it, to ensure that it is fully settled and developed in the bottle before it is released.

Jean Jacques Rossouw said that “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” - and there is no sweeter fruit than a bottle of Wild Yeast Chardonnay. The 2018 vintage will officially be released today, on the 1st of March 2019, and we can assure you that it was worth the wait.