Family,Food & Wine,Harvest 2013,South Africa | Tags: , , — Corlea Fourie @ 3:24 pm

Last week saw us taking in the last of the grapes for the 2013 harvest. We actually still have 1 ton of Merlot coming in from Walkerbay, but our assistant winemaker, Charlene Ferreira will be nursing that as her special harvest project this season.

Our intern, Valerio Alagna also had his birthday far away from home town Palermo so we decided to have a good old braai to celebrate both occasions.

On the menu de-boned pork rib on ciabata buns with plum sauce, atchar, rocket leaves and blue cheese. What a lovely way to celebrate a birthday, a good harvest, friendships and good food.



Harvest in South Africa has come to its peak. A lot of the producers in the Swartland have now finished with taking in grapes, whilst harvesting in cooler climates like the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in Hermanus is now in full swing. In Wellington we are now over the peak, having to make some room in the cellar for the last of the red varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre.

See our link to YouTube for a 2min update.


And so the third week of harvest started with that expected bang. All our Chenin blancs are in, including the Optenhorst Chenin from a vineyard planted in 1952 and interesting things like Pinot Grigio from Walkerbay.

Next week Pinot noir is on its way, but don`t read further…watch!


Doing video-blogging this season has been easier than sitting down writing, just as we have to focus on making wine! This short video will tell you what we have been up to and my thoughts on the interesting weather in this #harvest2013. Stay till the end: there are lovely pictures from our vineyard visit to Walkerbay last week too.


Last week we were pleased to put on the kettle and get rusks out of the cupboard for a feature on Bosman Family Vineyards on the new (early) morning show: Dagbreek. I missed the clip as we were in the cellar by then, but a very excited reviewer (my mom) phoned shortly after the feature to give feedback. One of her observations was that the camerawork made everything look like a stunning painting.
After seeing it I understood her comment -it helps though, when filming in a cellar with such history and vineyards with the most beautiful settings.

If you missed it -see it here. Thanks Dagbreek for the visit!


How wonderful to start harvest with a grape that we haven’t picked before from the Bosman Family vineyards! Grenache blanc. By the time you see this film -the wine will most probably be finished with fermentation. I can’t wait to see the end result either. So watch out for it in our Wine Club selection later this year and maybe it will even end up in our Adama white blend.

By the smell of it -it certainly will!


It has become apparent that harvest is actually upon us. I`ve always loved the quote from Leonard Bernstein in my context of harvest : “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time”

Harvest has always been that –having a plan and in most cases not quite enough time. Luckily if you are a viticulturist or winemaker in South Africa by this time you will have your game face on.

At this stage a word from Heinie our viticulturist will get you on track as to what has been going on this season leading up to harvest:

“ Our rainfall during the previous year (2011) was 537mm and this year (2012) we’ve had 727 mm. That means that we started off with good soil moisture and enough water for the season.

Then our version of “Hurricane Sandy” struck at the 28th of November until the 30th of November. We had wind speeds up to 110 km/h, and an average of 65 km/h. Many of the shoots and leaves were lost and damaged. The vineyards struggled to recover. Then straight after that, from the 10th till the 19th December we had maximum temperatures of between 39°C and 42°C. Luckily there was no notable sunburn damage. Then the season shifted in our favor. The second half of December and the first two weeks of January was cool and perfect for veraison.

Currently, everything is looking really good and we are about two weeks away from harvesting the Steen for the Cap Classique. The rest of the cultivars could be about 10 days later than normal except for Pinotage and Viognier which could be about 5-6 days earlier.”

We will be taking some samples on Friday as we need to harvest our Chenin Blanc for our Steen MCC soon. Will keep you posted.

To harvest!


Just this past week we took Bosman Family Vineyards to Johannesburg! How much fun it was!

I was born in Jozi but have only visited the city on wine related business ever since.

We had the pleasure of having the event at The Grazing room at DW eleven-13 where chef Marthinus Ferreira did a stellar job of pairing our wines with some out of the box tapas.

Here is a short film on the event kindly taken by Darling Lama Productions (Denis Slabbert)

And on a lighter note: I had my first Gautrain trip – what a joy. Proud South African moment. Looking forward to loads more whilst showing Gauteng our De Bos and Bosman Family Vineyards wines.

PS: The thumbnail has me caught in a strange pose. Absolutely no rudeness, I think I`m actually saying “fantastic”.


Uncategorized | Corlea Fourie @ 12:38 pm

This weekend we started off spring in style with a small family get together. We stayed over at my parents-in law who, without seeming worried about our singlehanded takeover of their home, welcomed us with open arms.
Spring day was very cold and dull so it meant being caught up in the four walls of the house.

No one knows how it happened but we started to look through my father in laws wine collection. Being Pater Familias of two winemaker sons and myself in the mix – he is quite good at storing the wines. What he lacks, however, is the knowledge of what he actually has in his collection.

This is one of them. Knew I had to show it. See pictured a bottle of immaculately kept Rustenburg Cabernet Sauvignon 1988. And see the pricing at the back – a Pick and Pay label stating R7.93.

In an age were back seat aging is king (as in buy, age in the car on your way home – enjoy that very same evening) a find like this truly shows the value of ageing (or the perceived value thereof).

In our house the bottle wouldn’t have lasted – that’s why having guys like the Wine Cellar and Caroline`s Fine Wines always helps.

What also came to mind is the tasting I will be having, as part of the Vintage Fine Wine and Dining at the Cape Grace on the 22nd of September which will showcase some of our older vintages. As we only started making wine in 2004 again it’s not stellar old wines as last month`s Vergenoegd tasting, but it will still show some trends as to where we were and were we are heading!

Now to have that bottle….Hope it lives up to expectation, will keep you posted.


I am only writing about the evening now as it has taken me this long to recover (in a good way!) from a 5 hour culinary experience. Still dreaming about that one specific combination!

Going to these dinners always makes me worry, firstly about the pairings –because one can only grasp as much from an email and then also on the evening –the company. Will one need to force the entertainment value, or will things just gel?

Luckily Aubergine’s reputation for fine dining is set and with a Chef and Sommelier who is serious and passionate about wine –one can’t go wrong.
We ended up having one table of 16 – and what a table. Started as total strangers and ended up having a truly enjoyable and jovial evening.

The menu:

Aperitif: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/ Pinot meunier 2010
Nori Sushi with lemon mayonnaise

First Starter : BFV Sur Lie Chenin blanc 2011
White Seafood trio of Scallops, Abalone and Kingklip with fenel.

2nd starter: 33 grape Varietal Rose 2011
Indian calamari with coconut cream, noodles, pak-soi and pineapple relish.

3rd starter : BFV Pinotage 2010
Strudel of braised Venison Shank, with beetroot and pomegranate sauce

Main course : BFV Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Roast Beef Sirloin, béarnaise sauce, savoy cabbage with lardons, caramelized red onions (pictured below)

Dessert: BFV Dolce Primitivo (Noble late Harvest) 2010
German Bergkäse with fig and red wine pumpernickel ice cream.

The courses were explained by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt beforehand and I had the pleasure of talking about the wines (and enjoying them) in good company.

A noteworthy point is that the wines were poured in lovely glasses at the right temperature and Winemaker/Sommelier Howard Booysen decanted the Pinotage well in advance which made a wonderful difference.

My sincere thanks to Harald, and his team, for a lovely evening and also to our guests, for such a warm response.

A trip to one of Aubergine or Auslese`s winemaker` events should be one everyone`s culinary bucket list for the year!


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