I have decided to give the Tulbagh wine region a punt. Beautiful area, great wines and any place that has survived an earthquake has a story to tell. So, thanks to ML Communications for a lekker release.
Tulbagh Winery has this year appointed a new production manager and a fulltime viticulturist, namely Naud+¬ Bruwer and Hugo Lambrechts, with a new strategy for the cellar in mind. There are seven distinctly different wine growing areas on which their members farm and they intend to vinify each area’s wines separately, with an emphasis on creating top quality wines.
The seven areas are Tulbagh, Halfmanshof, Riebeek, Porterville, Piketberg, Dwarskersbos and Berg River. Each cultivar from every region will be harvested separately, individually fermented and the final product will be kept in separate tanks for evaluation. Previously all cultivars from the same region were harvested together and the best wine was not necessarily bottled, but sold in bulk.
This new production team was created in order to professionally coordinate with the wine farmer-members for picking grapes at the correct ripeness and selecting the best cultivar from each region. Production manager, Naud+¬ Bruwer, was a winemaker at the Boland Cellar until the end of last year and had a hand in many of that cellar’s international and domestic awards over the past few years. Hugo Lambrechts, previously winemaker at Porterville Cellar, is now the fulltime viticulturist.
“With the 2010 harvest and the new team, quality is being refined and the first step is to prepare the regional wines individually. Each wine out of every region will then be carefully tasted to select the best of the tanks for blending in Tulbagh Winery’s bottled range,” Naud+¬ explained.
Besides Naud+¬ Bruwer and Hugo Lambrechts, the wines are also tasted by two other Tulbagh Winery winemakers, Johnny King and Jurgen Gouws, as well as two independent wine-producing experts. The final tank selection is thus not left to just one person.
“Each region has its own terroir, differ quite considerably and each offers something different. At Dwarskersbos, for instance, there are vineyards which are a mere 800m from the sea, while in other areas there are different soil types against mountain slopes, some of which face in various directions and so are affected differently by wind and sun.” said Hugo.
“It looks as though the shiraz is going to provide an outstanding harvest. This variety was least affected by downy mildew this year and even when fermentation was first started you could already pick up the lovely ripe aromas and deep red colour. Uneven ripening of the sauvignon blanc crop, on the other hand, made the decision about when to pick difficult ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ even within the same vineyard. The wines, none the less, show lovely tropical fruit, asparagus, citrus and fig aromas, while tropical fruit is predominant in the chenin blanc wines. We will, however, only be able to evaluate the wines in finer detail come April,” said Naud+¬