LET’S MAKE WINE: A PICTUR(-ESQUE) STORY
We’re nearing the end of the 2020 harvest, and it’s been another cracker! Watch this brief clip of how it’s been going so far.
BOSMAN WINEMAKING FROM START TO FINISH | TOLD IN PICTURES
There is no single recipe for making wine. That said, there are a lot of well-known processes and techniques that produce the major styles of wine.
It all starts with picking grapes.
So, let’s walk through the actual process of winemaking from start to finish:
STEP 1: PICK GRAPES
All hands on deck: pickers, tractors, metres, presses, tanks; early mornings, long, hot afternoons; incentive, investment and ingenuity … everything working together at an unrelenting pace for the once-off chance to make the best wine we can with what nature has blessed us with this season.
STEP 2: PROCESSING THE GRAPES
After the grapes are picked, they’re delivered to the winery.
Wine grapes are never washed. It would ruin the fruit-quality concentration! So that means we cannot blast them with pesticides, but rather nurture them naturally. Upon arrival at the cellar they are sorted to take out leaves, insects and even the odd chameleon. Then they are pressed and gently prodded into submission.
STEP 3: FERMENTATION
Once the grapes have been pressed they are inoculated with yeast and left to ferment in a variety of vessels usually stainless steel tanks, open cement tanks or the traditional wooden barrels.
White grapes are usually fermented without the skins to avoid potentially harsh tannins, while red grapes are fermented on their skins because the lovely dark ruby colour is extracted from these skins, and the tannins lend the structure to the wine.
STEP 4: THE ESSENTIAL PART OF WINEMAKING
So, once the grapes have been pressed, yeast is added to the juice to start fermentation. Imagine the original Pac-Man as a yeast cell gobbling up sugar cells and then giving off alcohol as a by – product. The more sugar our Pac-Man consumes, the more alcohol is released and the dryer the wine becomes.
STEP 5: PUMP OVERS AND PUNCH DOWNS!
While the wine is fermenting, carbon dioxide is released, which causes grape seeds and skins to rise to the surface to form a thick crusty layer.
Natasha, our winemaker, and her team control this by punching down the cap 3 times a day so that the skins remain in contact with the juice for maximum colour extraction.
She actually prefers “pump-overs” with our bolder wines like Adama Red (Shiraz) where juice from the bottom is gently poured over the top of the skins for the same effect.
STEP 6: CLARIFICATION
Once fermentation is complete, clarification begins. Clarification is the process in which solids such as dead yeast cells, tannins, and proteins are removed. These heavy particles sink to the bottom of the vessel so the wine is transferred or “racked” into a different vessel such as an oak barrel or a stainless steel tank.
STEP 7: WAITING AROUND
Finally, the wine moves into what the French call “élevage” which is really just a fancy way of saying “waiting around.” That said, a lot happens in the winery while we wait for the wine to mature into something great.
Wines go into barrels, bottles, or storage tanks. Some of our wines such as the ERFENIS and CABERNET SAUVIGNON will wait for five years before being released.
STEP 8: RACKED, TESTED & TASTED
…wines are racked, tested, tasted, stirred (lees stirring), and often blended together to create a final wine.
STEP 9: BOTTLING
Ageing and bottling is the final stage of the winemaking process. Our winemakers Corlea and Natasha have two options: bottle the wine right away; or give the wine additional ageing either in the bottle, stainless steel tanks or oak barrels. Ageing the wine in oak barrels will produce a smoother, rounder, and more vanilla flavoured wine. Steel tanks are commonly used for zesty white wines. After ageing, wines are bottled with either a cork or a screw cap, depending on the winemaker’s preference.
STEP 10: CONSUMING
That’s the best part
No explanation necessary.
WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE
Today, the pursuit of the greater good, especially in business, is not necessarily a given, but it’s one that rings louder and truer with each passing moment. Ahead, we shine a light on some of the successful strategies employed within South Africa’s wine industry.
Special thanks to @laurbuzzed & @wineenthusiast. Take a look at the recent article that appeared in the latest edition of Wine Enthusiast. Recognised as South Africa’s largest producer of Fairtrade wine, we are very proud to be able to generate funds for upliftment programmes on the farm and see the success of investing in people grow annually.
MéTHODE ANCESTRALE AKA PéT-NAT
You should quickly spot the shiny blue crown cap of our newly released Pét-Nat in your shipment of wine. Only, it isn’t actually Pétillant Naturel this time. While the method of production is exactly the same, the wine ended up with more bubbles and therefore has to be called Méthode Ancestrale instead. The striking new packaging pays homage to the fields of proteas surrounding the vineyards in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde, where the grapes for this wine are harvested, while the sparkling blue packaging reflects the sea and the sky between which these grapes grow.
Whatever we call it, this sparkling wine is made by bottling the wine before fermentation has finished, so the residual fermentation in the bottle causes the bubbles to be trapped inside.
This is a great wine to serve as an appetiser, and the little story of its production makes it all the more appealing.
Pet-Nat is what we should be drinking now as we stay home, enjoy our family and take a deep, grateful breath of fresh air. A few pantry staples thrown together will make a perfect match. This weekend I threw together some bottled beetroot, tinned sweetcorn, toasted nuts and a dollop of yoghurt – delicious!
Member Price: R135
COVID-19: RECOGNISING OUR RESPONSIBILITY
Following the President’s state address, we recognise that it’s our responsibility as an industry to take the COVID-19 precautionary measures extremely seriously, for the continued welfare of our guests & staff.
We’ve put the following measures in place so that guests who choose to visit us can feel assured that they are as safe as possible from the potential risk of infection:
⟢ We urge all guests who have a) travelled to identified risk zones in the past 21 days b) who have had close or casual contact with someone infected with COVID-19 c) who have experienced symptoms congruent with COVID-19 to please postpone/cancel their bookings with us immediately.
⟢ All international guests will also be proactively contacted to reschedule or cancel their bookings.
⟢ Order forms and brochures offered to guests will be discarded after each use to avoid possible contamination.
⟢ We will continue to implement our existing, stringent hygiene protocols, & new safety measures have been added to mitigate further risk, including the immersion of all glassware, crockery & cutlery into scalding water prior to use.
⟢ Both tasting rooms are closed this week, subject to further notice, due to extra precautionary business measures.
⟢ We urge all guests and staff to follow the Control & Prevention protocols (no handshakes/hugging/touching of the face and practising frequent handwashing etc.)
⟢ Security at the farm’s entrance will monitor all visitors with a questionnaire.
⟢ Hand sanitisers at all entry points.
The online delivery service is recommended. However, the delivery process will be changed to ensure that couriers do not come within one meter of the receiver of the parcel. Handshakes and close contact of any kind will be limited. The receiver of the parcel will also not be required to sign the handheld device to update the proof of delivery. Instead, the receiver will be required to verbally confirm their full name to the courier, who will enter it on the device. All couriers will be instructed not to hand any parcel directly to a customer but instead place it in a desired area on the floor or a desk where the customer can pick it up from.
…AND TO END OFF ON A POSITIVE NOTE
Adam Appollis was the foreman on the farm in the 1930s and 40s. He was Oupa Jan Bosman’s, right-hand man. His daughter Mina, was Ouma Anna Bosman’s right-hand lady. Together they made the most wonderful meals. They were famous for their jams made from the fruit of the farm, and their milk tarts were legendary. Mina’s granddaughter is Rita Andreas, who is involved in community development at the local government. She often used to accompany her grandmother to work and loved listening to Ouma Anna plays the piano.
Ouma Anna, an accomplished pianist, always hoped her children would inherit her love of music, but it was Rita who was inspired by Ouma Anna to take piano lessons.
Today Rita’s Bosman Adama choir is legendary, a fitting tribute to Ouma Anna.
Here is Christopher Kammies telling his story about the Bosman farm Choir under the leadership of Rita.