Montag, 28. April 2008

Wine and Cheese Pics

Yes, this was maybe the best day during my stay here so long. We have tasted loads of different cheeses and wines, bubblys, coffees, brandys, pestos, jams, ... and much more. All the people were really relaxed and about 4 different bands played outside. After the festival we drove to Bloubergstrand to drink sundowners and afterwards we had the biggest seafood platter you can imagine (30 prawns, fish, calamari, chips, rice, mussels, ...). But have a look at the pics and you will understand.

Festival area in Franschhoek:

Fredrik and Tove enjoying Diemersdal CH and Boerewors Hotdogs:

Sundowners at Bloubergstrand:

at Tokara Restaurant:

Samstag, 26. April 2008

Wine and Cheese

Tonight, Fredrik and Tove are coming back from their holiday in Mozambique. They will stay for 3 days at my place and then fly back to Sweden.
Plans for the weekend are to drive to Franschhoek because there a big wine and cheese festival this weekend. Stiaan, Manu and some other are already there. I will try to eat less cheese because the last time I was at a cheese festival (in Bra/Piedmont) I was sick for 3 days ;-)
For their farewell party we have booked a table at Buitenverwacting Restaurant, one of the high end places around, but Fredrik is a sommelier in Stockholm and I am sure the tips are pretty good at Rolfs Kök

Pics will follow!!

Riesling tasting

Thursday we attended a Riesling tasting at Old Mutual House in Bishops Court. The South African Riesling society ( invited Gunther Brözel, a legendary winemaker and the godfather of German style Riesling in South Africa guided us through the evening with his enormous knowlegde about German and South African Rieslings and afterwards some "Snacks" waited for us.

tasting notes (of course all Rieslings):

1. 2007 Buitenverwachting (10% alc., TA 7,5; RS 8,0)
fruity on the nose, nice acid structure, good finish

2. 2007 Hartenberg Wine Estate (13%; TA 5,9; pH 3,01; RS 7,9)
slight petrol flavors, good acid, not as balanced as 1, not clear aromas on the nose 

3. 2007 De Wetshof (13,6%; TA 7,3; pH 3,09; RS 4,8)
Löss flavors on the nose (hotter region, different soil) good acid structure, but rather short and lean

4. 2005 Paul Cluver Wines (11,5%; TA 7,9; pH 2,84; RS 9,0)
clear intense stone fruits on the nose, very good acid structure, extremly fresh and well balanced, lingering, very good

5. 2007 Ross Gouwer (11,0%; TA 6,3; RS 6,2)
slightly reductive, maybe slight cork taint as well, too sweet, not balanced, short.

6. 2006 SA Prüm QBA (11,5%; TA 7,3; RS 10,1) "Liter" bottle!!
for me clearly identifiable as German Riesling, classic, good acid, good length

7. 2003 Scharzhofberger Cabinet Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt (9,0%; TA 6,1; RS 49,6)
good matured, slight petrol tone, sweet, but very good structured.

8. 1987 Nederburg Special Late Harvest (13,6%; TA 6,8; pH 3,2; Rs 45,6)
alcoholic, brownish colour, on the palate alcoholic too, but drinkable and good for this age

9. 1997 Hochheimer Domdechaney Auslese (7,78%; TA 8,6; RS 96)
lovely fruit, fine aromas, elegant, lingering on the palate, good structured, very good

10. Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest (12%; TA 7,7; pH 3,4; RS 125,4)
intense fruit and honey aroma, very good acid structure, long finish, very good.

The snacks after the tasting:
Ostrich Carpaccio, Spinach/Salmon rolls, coriander chicken with rice, fruit tarts and brownies

Served with the food:
Dr. Loosen Riesling Auslese 2003, Klein Constantia Rielsling 2007, and the leftovers from the tasting.

This was definitely one of the best tastings I attended here in South Africa so long. I met a friend of Adam and he is the chairman of a exclusive tasting group. Glady, I was invited for the next tasting but I have to organize an Austrian tasting for them. If that´s the only problem ...

Harvest Lunch

Tuesday: Harvest Lunch.

All the people from the farm and the contract workers were invited for the traditional harvest lunch. A long table was setup in the middle of the cellar and a Catering Team started a big Braai for the meat. 90 people enjoyed the Beef with potatoes and Greek Salad. KC Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosè Juice and Water was served by very attentive waiters. As desert we had vanilla ice cream and chocolate cake. 
Afterwards the party started with Afrikaans music and the girls couldn´t wait to start the first dance with Lowell, our boss.
It was a really great afternoon with lots of talks, fun and music and the best thing for our worker was that their holiday started with this feast.

Some impressions form the harvest lunch:


Bruno was very hungry too:

The table:

Get the party started:

Samstag, 19. April 2008

Harvest Pics

I had a busy week with all red fermetations tanks full and lots of racking and blending the withes. 
You will find the pics of the last harvest day this week at Klein Constantia within this post. I really hope the weeks are getting more quiet now because I am exhausted from this long harvest. But live here is definitly better than those of Bernhard, Stu and Flo´s in New Zealand. They are harvesting for 3 weeks now and last week they worked for 96 hours!! Life is better in South Africa than in NZ but keep on smiling ;-)

And to the more regular readers: you are kindly invited to add more comments, otherwise it´s rather boring.

The last grapes are coming:

The picking ladies:

The Cellar team 2008:

Pressing handpicked raisins is a hard job:

Sonntag, 13. April 2008

SB tasting

This week I had a really exciting experience. On Tuesday all winemakers from the Constantia wine region came to us and everybody brougth samples from this years SB vintage. We tasted all wines together and every winemaker explained how the wine was made. How the grapes and the juice was treated. 
It was amazing to witness how open everybody speaks about the problems in the vineyards with rot, which finings they used and what they think about the overall quality of the vintage.

It would also be good for the Austrian winemakers of each village to come together after the harvest and speak really open about how everythings works because just when one is open to others the quality of his wines will improve by te new inputs. Maybe that is a good reason to go abroad and learn how other countries make teir wine. For my part I learned a lot here and I am curios to hear frm Flo, Martin, Andi and the both Bernhards how the wines are made in NZ.

This week arrived Emmanuel from France. He will also stay for 6 month but the big difference is that he will write his Master Thesis here. We will see what he has to do exactly after this week when he has met his Professor at Stellenbosch University.

We got the last 18 tons of Muscat this week and I am so glad that the harvest is over. All fermetation tanks are full and we will press some reds this week. But the biggest part is done and it should work out nicely. We will taste all SB tanks tomorrow to know which tanks can go together in the blend and I will also have to take samples of all barrels again this week. Lot of wines are waiting to be tasted ;-)

Dienstag, 8. April 2008


I spent the most of my weekend in the cellar doing all the routine jobs like pump overs, punch downs, sugars, ... and we have drained the juice of the raisins. It will be blended back to the Vin de Constance to adjust the Residual sugar level.

Tomorrow my new mate from France will arrive. I hope he is a bit like Rino because we had no troubles and a really good time together.


Samstag, 5. April 2008

Wines of our Stellenbosch tasting tour

Wines tasted Friday and Monday:

Tokara winery

Zondernaam Range
1. SB 07
easy drinking wine, light and simple. R45

2. Chenin Blanc 07
31 year old bush vines, unirrigated, 20% new oak, no clear aromas for me, didn't like it at all. R50

3. CH 07
9 month oak, oak verz prominent on the nose, but creamy palate. good. R45

4. CS 04
includes 10% Petit Verdot and 5 % CF, nearly Austrian CS Nose, green unripe flavors, light bodied, but 18 month in barrels, acid and tannin and not integrated at all. R62.

5. SY 04
French and American oak, overripe flavors, light bodied with no good structure. R62.

Tokara Range

6. Walker Bay SB 07
no intense nose , but good palate, light, R75.

7. Elgin SB 07
fresh green flav, asparagus and peas, intense acid structure and long finish. R75.

8.  Tokara White 06
20% new oak, oak prominet on the nose, but good toasting chosen, creamy on the palate with good structure. R125.

9. Tokara Red 03
soft, no structure, rather short. R150.

10. Potstill Brandy (Chenin Blanc)
very soft on the palate, fruity, very good. R300 but only 3200 bottles produced and sold out.

for internship: write mail to Miles@tokara in September.


all wines are very good, especially the SB Sutherland 07 and of course the CS "The Mint".

for internship: wirte mail to Thelema in May.


I had completly wrong expectations of Mulderbosch because I drank their wines in Vienna as Wein&Co is selling them and I really thought of a big big winery. But Mulderbosch is rather small, but their SB 07 is really good.


1. SB 07
slightly reductive. R75

2. CH 06 
too much wood on the nose and on the palate. R82

3. Mill Race 05
nearly Austrian CS nose, light bodied, acid and tannin very prominent. R60.

4. SY 05
spicy nose and good structure, best wine for me. R172.

5. CS 05
24 month in barrels, very hard tannins, R154.

6. Vergelegen Red 03
matured, 26 month in barrels, not R298 worth.

Ernie Els winery

1. Cirrus 05 (Shiraz 93,5% and Viognier 6,5%)
spicy nose but too sweet on the palate, (acid 6,4 with RS 4,5g!!)

2. Ernie Els 04
better structured, but R525!!! per bottle

Bilton wines

1. Bilton white 07
soapy nose, strange. (SB, CB, SE)

2. Merlot 04
light Brett. R85

3. CS 04
cooked flav, VA very high. R85.

4. SY 04
choco and oak on the nose, very soft tannin. R85. best wine for me.

5. Sir Percy 04
alcohol and VA very strong. R125.

Rust en Vrede

1. ME 06
bit meaty, soft tannin.

2. CS 04
good structure, bit high alc, long finish.

3. SY 04
oak flav on the nose but also spices, cool minty and eucalypt flav on the palate mixed with vanilla notes. very good.

4. Estate 04
bit meaty, but juicy tannins, oak on the palate, structured.

Dienstag, 1. April 2008


After one week without writing a new post this will be a longer one. To my excuse I have to say that I spent the weekend with Stiaan, Zanelle and Rino in Kleinmond were Stiaans parents live.

But I would like to start with Friday. Rino and I got off from work and we spent the day in Stellenbosch for tastings. 
First winery was Tokara. A brand new cellar and Miles, the winemaker and a friend of Adam, showed us around.
Afterwards we visited Thelema to show Rino the cellar were the fabulous "The Mint" is made. Winemaker Rudi Schultz had time for us as well and we tasted some of his barrels. The Mint of the years to come will be as great as the current release.
Lunch at Tokara (look at the pics)
The next appointment we had at Mulderbosch winery where we met Mike, Nick and their Italian intern Natalia. We spent there nearly 3 hours with tasting, chating and so on.
After this exhausting day in the cellars we met Stiaan in Strand and he drove us to Kleinmond. His father had the Braai ready and after Steaks and wine we finished the day with cigars and Talisker Whisky.

Saturday and Sunday we were busy with more food, wine and lazy hours at the pool.

Sunday evening we were invited at Adam and his wife Lousie. Again food and wine but who knows when we will get another perfect Curry with selfmade cheese.

Monday again tastings in Stellenbosch and then Rinos farewell party at Peddlars. We were 13 and that means even more wine and food.

After this weekend I will start my diet today and hope that such excessive weekends won´t become the rule during my stay here. Otherwise I will be able to roll home in August.

Cheers Franz

Stiaan, Seb and Rino in Kleinmond:

Pool and cool drinks:

At Morgenster with Fredrik:

Mulderbosch tasting:

Tokara winery:

My starter at Tokara (poached mussels with banana and orange cream):