We have been very busy here at Seven Springs and it doesn’t look like the sudden winter here in the Overberg is going to slow us down. If you thought it was still Autumn, well guess again. The leaves might be golden, but the mountain tops are getting their first dusting of powdery white snow.
Recently we had a promotion at a local Italian restaurant, Fabio’s Ristorante, with great success. As part of celebrating the success of the promotion, but also to thank the team at Fabio’s we had a lovely tasting on the farm, even though it was windy.
What a great team and great support from the local community in Hermanus. They are the only authenic Italian restaurant in Hermanus and should be on your list of places to dine, have a look on http://www.fabios.co.za/. Who knows, maybe you can enjoy a glass of Seven Springs when you are there!
We have also been very busy marketing our wines in the Overberg with Swellendam the newest area you can find our wines. Schoone Oordt, a five star guesthouse serving our Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir to their patrons. With a great team of people involved in the guesthouse, Swellendam and Schoone Oordt ( http://www.schooneoordt.co.za) is a real gem and worth spending the night if you ever feel like being treated like instant family. Our wines are also for sale at De Keldermeister in town and on your way to Swellendam you can stop in Riviersonderend and buy our wines at The Wine Rack.
This week we had our annual Tradeshow with distrubutor Siris Vintners – Siris About Wine. This year the show went underground with the event taking place in the basement of the Upper East Side Hotel, creating an intimate tasting environment where it felt like you were in a barrel cave. Trade and wineries could connect and talk about all things wine. All-in-all a very enjoyable event and successful to boot. We also got to show off the fact that our 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay and 2011 Oaked Chardonnay both won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Harvest report to follow soon. It was a tough 2014 vintage and I think I’m still recovering like most viticulurists and winemakers in South Africa. Also be on the look out for upcoming news on the building of our own winery and tasting room on the farm. 2014 is a big year for us and it is all thanks to our local and global support, so thank you to you all.
Some came in high heels,
another with a hat,
one wore a tie,
another brought a cat!
Seven Springs Vineyards have had a wonderful 2013 and wished to end the year with special friends, good food and great wine. The great wine of course was our Pinot Noir ‘Young Vines II’ 2012 and Sauvignon Blanc 2012. We welcomed our friends on the ‘stoep’ with some chilled Pongracz Rose and 7Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2012 served with our very own 2013 Frantoio Olive Oil and homemade Chicken liver pate on toasted Ciabatta.
Chicken Liver Pate
500g Chicken livers
2 Onions finely chopped
1 Garlic glove
1 Medium lemon (juice)
Dash of Balsamic vinegar
Dash of Brandy
Mayonnaise (I love adding a spoon or two)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Clean the livers and sprinkle with juice of one lemon. Fry the onions, add livers and fry ’till cooked. Add garlic and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Let cool adding brandy, salt & pepper to taste. Put in food-processor and blend until smooth. You can add some mayonnaise, if desired. Enjoy with Ciabatta or seed bread.
A TABLE READY FOR A FEAST
Our first main course was roasted Smoked Pork with roasted potatoes with a rocket & mango asian salad. Paired with Pinot Noir 2012.
Our second main course came in 2 shapes and sizes, two very different curries. The Pinot Noir 2012 was paired with a mild Malay apricot curry, served in a hollowed out homemade bread. The Sauvignon Blanc 2012 was paired with a Thai Green Curry on fragrant rice.
300 gr Chicken, cubed
30 ml vegetable oil
1 onion cut into 8 wedges
2 peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic
400 g baby marrows, diced
5cm knob ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
60ml Thai green curry paste, adjust to taste
1 can (400g) coconut milk
180 ml vegetable stock
4-6 dried lime leaves or grated peel of 1 lime (optional)
150 g baby spinach
juice of 2 limes
30 ml fish sauce or light soya sauce
fresh basil and coriander
Saute the onions, peppers, baby marrows, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and curry paste in the vegetable oil until soft. Add chicken, coconut milk, stock and lime leaves and let simmer until cooked through. Stir through baby spinach, lime juice, fish sauce and herbs and serve with steamed rice.
For the finale we had Tiramisu with dark chocolate trellising, made from melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
big, medium and small!
We wish you a very Merry Christmas
and may 2014 be a healthy and prosperous year for you!
BLOG BY HETTA
Leading South African sommelier, Miguel Chan, has reviewed our latest Pinot Noir (our 2012 ‘Young Vines II’) and scored it 91+ points out of 100. This wine was made from 3.5 year old vines and shows the fantastic potential our vineyard has for this, and our other, varietals. The same wine is being sold in the USA as Over the Mountain Pinot Noir 2012.
A beautifully balanced, vibrant wine it is garnet in colour, with delicate woodland and truffle undertones. Offering opulent aromas of raspberries, cherries and strawberries, the oak is subtle, supporting the fruit driven profile of this wine. The palate is smooth and medium bodied, with bold fruit characters balanced well with the oak. A great food match with game, duck, and perfect with mushroom risotto
International Wine Challenge: Bronze 2015
Platter Wine Award: 4 Star 2015
Residual Sugar: 2.8 g/l
Total Acidity: 5.3 g/l
Harvested by hand on 14th and 17rd February 2012
Total production: 10,140 bottles (750ml)
Bottled: February 2013
Ageing potential: 5 years
The 2012 harvest began on Valentine’s Day, with the Pinot Noir fruit being the first of the season to be picked. Strating soon after sunrise, the first sorting took place in the vineyard. At the winery the fruit was de-stemmed, crushed and pumped to stainless steel tanks, where it was left, for five days, to ‘cold soak’ at below 50˚F. The ‘cold-soaking’ process helped the extraction of primary fruit characters to enhance the fruit driven wine style. As the must warmed, the wild yeasts occurring naturally on the skins caused fermention to begin. After two weeks the alcoholic fermentation was complete and the grapes were pressed. It was then moved to second and third fill, French oak barrels and left to mature for 10 months. The older barrels complemented the fruit expression of this style of Pinot Noir; a light bodied, fruit forward wine. Juice from the different clones were kept separate during the whole process and only blended a few months before bottling.
The worlds best Pinot Noir is reputed to result from the selection of clones; a common practice in Burgundy. Clones 777 and 828 are currently favoured in addition to the reliable 114, 115 and 667. These clones are known for their strong colour, elegant rich aroma with hints of small fruits. They give the wine structure and potential for ageing. Seven Springs selected four clones: 777, 667, 115 and 459, planted in 2008, on the warmer north facing slope at 240 mters elevation on Bokkeveld Shale with decomposed granite and deep, rich yellow and red clay subsoil.
Fear not that this is boldly declared as ‘young vines’. ‘Old Vines’ doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality, and believe me, this second vintage of wild yeast-fermented Pinot is fragrant and rich, with a touch of game and blood, solid plummy fruit and just a glimpse of more delicate floral and woodland nuances. It is juicy and savoury, the 10 months in older oak adding some clove and smokiness to really sweet fruit, a glimpse of raspberry ripple softness, but that plum and briar character and the 14% alcohol give it flesh and substance. Finishing on natural spice and deep-set fruit, it is a lovely Pinot in a more solid style, but not without elegance.
Produced from young vines our Pinot Noir is sophisticated and full of character. It is bright and vibrant in colour with a beautiful balanced red berry flavour, a hint of spice, and an excellent finish. It is a very versatile food wine and will match perfectly with mushroom, duck, beef, lamb or pork dishes.
Review by Decanter: Decanter Magazine had this to say about our Pinot Noir in their August 2013 edition.
Seven Springs, Pinot Noir, Overberg, South Africa 2011. This is the inaugural release of Seven Springs’ Pinot Noir. A fabulously attractive, versatile wine, it’s laden with ripe black cherries with leafy underbrush notes and hints of Black Forest gâteau, before unwinding to a fresh finish. 17pts/20 (90/100pts)
TweetCritique: This is a young and vibrant Pinot Noir, light in colour and a nose that is just pure raspberry. The flavour is full and lingering with fruitiness being the prominent feature – a really special and exciting wine.
Pieter – Cork and Wine – Wine Spirit and fine living
Richard Saxton – The Grape crusader
Denise Medrano – RedWine.co.uk
Video Review by Simon Woods
Short video of what to expect of our 2012 Pinot Noir
Valentine’s Day? Yes, but also and most important, harvest time at 7 Springs Vineyard, where our grapes get tender loving care, as you would treat your Valentine!
We have 4 Pinot Noir clones of which two were harvested today, clones 667 and 777. These two will give the fresh fruit component to the wine.
Clones 459 and 115 will be picked as and when they reach their full ripeness and they will make out the structural component to our Pinot Noir.
Everybody ready for action!
Our Pinot Noir vines are now in their 4th year, still very young, and as a result the volumes are still small, so the grapes harvested today will ferment together in the same tank.
Some experienced hands working here, good care is taken not to squash any grapes!
Our grape pickers enjoy what they are doing and they have a real passion for this job!
Another perfect bunch!
The grapes are transported to the winery in the same crates they were gently harvested into. The gentler the grapes get handled the less breakage there is of the berries. This way we make sure we get the best results from our wonderful grapes.
Watch this space and see how our grapes transform into wine!
This super video, taken in our vineyards and surrounds, has just gone live on YouTube. The video was made by the talented Charles Lourens of http://www.bottleplatepillow.com . We are really pleased as the video truly conveys what we at Seven Springs are all about. Thank you Charles, you have done us proud.
Day 2 – Thursday May 20th – The second day began with Kim and Tim meeting with Jo Wehring, UK Market Manager for Wines of South Africa (WOSA), www.wosa.co.za. Jo discussed ways that WOSA could be of a help to us in helping to eastablish our brand / wines here in the UK. WOSA were also hosting a South African Chenin Blanc tasting which highlighted the success that South Africa is having with this versatile varietal. Onwards to a tasting on the Seckfords Agencies stand, www.seckfordagencies.co.uk, for the second time with Peter Finlayson where we tasted his complete range of stunning wines. Here we were joined again by Tara O’Leary, http://winepassionista.com/, and Lynda Harvey, www.thewineplace.co.uk. Lynda has been a keen follower of Seven Springs Vineyard and is opening a wine shop in Berkshire in the near future. We then spent some time looking at different screw enclosures for future use with our wines. After a brief lunch we met with ex sommelier Richard Mitton from Worthing who hopes to set up a wine shop in Sussex later this year. Our next port of call was a tasting with Hein Koegelenberg, http://heinkoegelenberg.typepad.com/blog/, CEO of La Motte, www.la-motte.com, and owner of Leopards Leap Wines, www.leopards-leap.com. Hein gave us a fantastic tour of the La Motte winery when we were in the Cape in March and again tasting his range of wines here confirmed them as real class acts. The Pierneef range in particular standing out, if you like syrah / shiraz then get your hands on a bottle or two of these wines. Lastly, but not least, we tasted the wines from the De Wetshof Estate from Robertson, www.dewetshof.com. Brothers Peter, winemaker, and Johan de Wet, Sales and Marketing, are well known to us and their range of Chardonnays are always well received.
We left the show tired but encouraged. The band of South African wine producers are a great bunch of people and we feel proud to become one of them.