Friday the 6th of August 2010 is a momentous day in the history of Seven Springs Vineyard as it was the day we bottled our first ever wines, our 2010 Sauvignon Blanc. A total of 4,300 bottles of the wine were bottled at Iona Vineyards, www.iona.co.za, in Elgin. Our wines will spend a couple of weeks recovering from ‘bottle shock’, then be labelled and made available for sale within South Africa and the UK.
Seven Springs Vineyard has just had another article published in leading South African online wine site, BottlePlatePillow. The site, www.bottleplatepillow.com, aims to give visitors accurate information on all South African wine farms. This will allow people to find detailed information on each farm to make their visit to each winery more memorable. Information such as whether there is a restaurant or accommodation on the farm, up to date news on wineries, special vineyard events, special offers and much much more. BottlePlatePillow site creator, Charles Lourens, has produced an excellent site which we are sure will become as much part of the South African wine experience as the Platter South African Wine Guide, www.johnplatterguide.com. Go directly to the report here http://www.bottleplatepillow.com/blog/seven-springs-vineyard-from-the-beginning-by-tim-pearson/
DAY 1 – Wednesday May 19th – Our annual pilgrimage to the London International Wine Fair proved to be very positive again for Seven Springs Vineyard. On Wednesday Vaughan and Tim attended the event and met with a good friend of Seven Springs, David Derbyshire aka http://oenotype.blogspot.com/, and we spent most of the day going around the show with him. Some of the highlights of the day saw us catch up with our old friend Ken Forrester of www.kenforresterwines.com and we sampled his fantastic range of Chenin Blanc’s culminating with the fabulous FMC. Moving on we then met with Liesl Rust and Paul Cluver of www.cluver.com and tasted the wonderful wines they produce from the Elgin region of South Africa. Try their Noble Late Harvest Riesling, one of South Africa’s best sweet wines (along with Ken Forrester’s T and Mullineux’s Straw Wine). We then met with near neighbour Peter Finlayson of www.bouchardfinlayson.co.za and tasted his stunning range of wines, flagship Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Hemel en Aarde Valley. Then we moved on to see The Wine Gang, www.thewinegang.com, where all the ‘gang’ were there Olly Smith, Tom Cannavan, Tim Atkin MW, Antony Rose and Joanna Simon. They hosted a stand displaying their top 100 wines based on their top scoring wines of the last 12 months. Highlight of this visit was Antony Rose attempting the hoola hoop…ring a ring a rose! Whilst tasting some of the wines we met our friend Chris Mullineux, http://mullineuxwines.com/, who was paying a flying visit to the show between trips to California and the south of France. Then we met with Tara O’Leary aka http://winepassionista.com/, Tara being the first person to write an article on Seven Springs Vineyard. After lunch we spent time with our brand designer Marcel de Quervain of www.curv8.com and spent the afternoon with him. David then introduced us to Rowan Gormley of www.nakedwines.com. Rowan has asked if he can taste our wines once they are bottled as he would be interested, if the wines are of a good quality, in adding Seven Springs to his impressive portfolio of South African wines. We then met up with daughter Kim who spent the last two hours with us culminating in a tasting of the legendary Simonsig Estate, www.simonsig.co.za , where we spoke with owner Pieter Malan and tasted their lovely range of wines. Fabulous Chenin Blanc’s as always from Simonsig..their recently bottled 2010 is a very fruity and vibrant example of this variety. Vaughan then drove back to Warwickshire and Kim, Marcel and Tim headed off for a curry and a bottle of Cobra. Who should we bump into at the curry house?…none other than Pieter Malan from Simonsig….a small world indeed. Then off to bed, ready for Thursday and day 2.
Seven Springs Vineyard is pleased to announce that Riana van der Merwe, our winemaker, is to work at leading Oregon winery, Adelsheim Vineyard, http://www.adelsheim.com, for the 2010 harvest. This is a great opportunity for Riana to work with a leading U.S. winery producing top Pinot Noirs. The experience will give Riana an insight into leading northern hemisphere Pinot Noir production, especially as our young Pinot vines are nearing maturity.
Our Syrah was picked on Monday the 8th of March and the temperature reached a high of 38.9 degrees centigrade, phew, one of the highest temperatures recorded in the valley in recent years. The grapes look an excellent quality and the analysis today will determine the exact quality. Our winemaker Riana said ” I was really impressed with the quality of the grapes and my heartfelt thanks go to all the pickers who worked wonders getting the grapes in. I am also very happy with our Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay which are ‘gurgling’ away nicely in their fermentation tanks. Time will tell, but for our first harvest I am cautiously optomistic of some excellent wines being made”.
Owner Tim Pearson commented ” I can only echo Riana’s comments about the pickers and would like to thank Riana for her input. If the wine turns out as good as the effort that Riana has put into this we will have some top wines here. My thanks also go to Peter Davison, our vineyard manager, who has done an exceptional job getting the grapes to this stage”. The stage is now set for Riana to show us what she can do in the winery. Watch this space.
Seven Springs is pleased to announce the appointment of Riana van der Merwe as winemaker. Riana comes highly recommended to us by friends Guillaume Nell, winemaker at Backsberg Cellar Estate (http://www.backsberg.co.za) and Corina du Toit, Sales and Marketing Manager at Eikendal Vineyards in Stellenbosch (http://www.eikendal.com). Riana will be responsible for making our first wines and we are confident she will respond to the challenge, she has our full support.
25 year old Riana said ” This is a fantastic opportunity for me to be able to work with Tim and Vaughan and to be able to make their dreams come true. I am proud to be associated with such positive people and I will do my level best to ensure we make some of South Africa’s best wines as the potential is definitely here”