The adrenaline high of harvest is over and slowly we return to normal work cycles, blessed to spend more time with family and friends and catch a wave or two. But there is that knowing look in each of our eyes: damn we miss it. Whole year to the next one. A bit like a surfer always seeking the perfect wave, we yearn for the rush of harvest: grapes come flying in, catch the wave; go with the flow. Is this one a long slow ride to the beach, or a short fast ripper?
You never know till you press those grapes and taste it. We had to bulk sell the whole 2014 Pinot Noir harvest – just wasn’t up to scratch. But that’s the way it goes, we do not compromise at The Drift Farm. 2015 is looking superb. Malolactic fermentation is complete – it was going really slowly with the Pinot Noir but with the help of a few tricks up our winemaker’s magician sleeve, off she took.
Now it is all over, time for the wine to ‘chill’ in a mix of new and old barrels, American or French depending on varietal. With age comes maturity, a bit of softness. Some take years for the craziness of youth to distill into wisdom.
Our 2011 Mary le Bow is coming into its own as an exceptional red blend. Needed time in the bottle and the barrel. The grapes come from a truly magnificent farm called Wildepaardekloof in Ashton. At last it’s time to ask her to dance. As you spin her round the glass, a whiff of her scent tickles your nose and her secrets are slowly revealed. Ah, Je t’aime!
With others, we want showcase that special sparkle: our Year of the Rooster Rose has the freshness of youth balanced with the maturity of the Portuguese red port varietal, Touriga Franca. A little gem for autumnal afternoons: a hint of summer’s promise whispered into the depths of these cooler, darker seasons. We only produce a few barrels of this for that rare James Bond rosé drinker who likes it “Dry, bone dry”.
More technical and tricky, bottling is just around the corner, but that’s for another day. Today we chat around the camp fire about that perfect wave, the dream of harvest past and wait to taste the fruits of our labour.
(image: Harvest Highlights. Katie Savage, Tulula Snell and Anna Savage help with pigeage process)
If you missed the post about harvest, click here to read it.