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Winemakers Corner

Fri, 11/08/2013 - 11:25 - Fatiema George

What’s happening in the cellar? 

July and August are traditionally the months where we are busy with removing the former vintages out of the barrels and transferring the new vintage into barrels. However this year we are a bit delayed, due to some special projects coming our way. 

One of the services Cloof is offering is making wine under private labels. Jody, Cloof’s assistant winemaker was tasked with sourcing a Pinot Noir base wine to make a Chardonnay Pinot Noir blend (vin gris). After several calls and long negotiations he managed to source 6 000 litres which we blended with 6000 litres of our Chardonnay. The wine was bottled the last week of August and hit the shelves in mid September. Since its release we only get positive comments on this wine which proves to be very popular. 

The Duckitt Cabernet Merlot 2009 is another success story as the wine is flying out of the cellar. For August alone we managed to ship approximately 10 000 bottles on the local market. The total production was 76 000 bottles and we managed to sell approximately 60 000 bottles since November 2012 on the local market. This prompted us to finalise the new vintage, 2011, earlier then foreseen as the previous vintage, 2009, is slowly selling out. Due to the demand for the 2009 vintage, Jody, Anthony (National Sales Manager) and I had some marathon tastings to blend the new vintage to the exact specifications as the previous vintage. The new vintage was bottled last week and will be on the shelves towards the end of the month. 

The new vintage of Happy Dragon Pinotage Shiraz 2012, a production run of 75 000 bottles, will be bottled next week for release at the end of September. We produced 76 000 of the 2011 vintage and this came onto the market in November 2012. The sell through rate was 50% local and 50% export. 

The last special project for this year was the first bottling of wine in PET bottles for our annual Rocking the Daisies festival (3 October – 5 October 2013). In line with the green theme of the festival, no glass bottles may be used (for recycling purposes). Hence we bottled a small quantity, 3 000 bottles each, of uncertified wine, Crispy White (Chenin Blanc) and Fruity Red (Pinotage dominated).

Now that all this is done we can start to concentrate again on the barrel maturation and new blends at Cloof / for Cloof’s future.