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An Unforgettable Harvest

     

    Human, not corporate, independent wines.

     

    Short reads

    • A Harvest in the time of Corona
    • The Patience of Making Minimal Intervention Craft Wines
    • The Unsung Wine Gets Its Moment to Shine

    2020 Harvest Report

    The first quarter of 2020 has come and gone and with it the Southern Hemisphere harvest has concluded (see our Instagram post). The early ripening varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc got into the cellar before the Corona pandemic clogged up the wheels of life. As Social Distancing was followed by a full lockdown, the 2020 harvest of the later ripening varieties (such as Cabernet Sauvignon) in the cooler regions went on in the midst of the upheaval, while maintaining social distancing and with hand washing stations placed in the vineyards. In the cellar, the winemaker has to work in solitude but the kids who can not attend school have been chipping in, so it’s a real family affair.

     

     

    The Patience of Making Minimal Intervention Craft Wines

    Large scale wine making, those wines that you see on many restaurant menus and shops, is a precisely engineered process: Weak vintage? Add colorant. Light vintage? Add sugar cane to boost those alcohol levels. Not enough tannins in that high priced wine? add tannin powder, etc.  The beauty of fine craft wine making is that we do not attempt to control the process. We use natural yeast (see our Instagram cellar post) and minimal intervention. This can also be one of its frustrations. We cold stabilize our wines as we believe that people do not want crystals precipitating in  the bottom of the bottle. This involves chilling the wine down to 39F and waiting for the crystals to precipitate. Sometimes the crystals precipitate out quickly. Sometimes we have to wait. And wait. It is humbling to have to wait. It reminds us that there is so much that we can’t control. The wine doesn’t know that we had reserved the bottling line, that the ship to the US was leaving and that with the pandemic there may not be another ship for a long while. The wine is in charge. So we waited. At the last possible minute, we had exciting news from the winery that the cold stabilization is complete. Cue the finely choreographed symphony of label printing, cork ordering, bottling and packing (see our cork maker and bottling posts) and we are delighted to report that our maiden Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc bottlings are on their way stateside.

     

     

    The Unsung Wine Gets Its Moment to Shine

    Wine Spectator doesn’t tell us when they feature our wines, so it may take one of our customers to tell us about it. In a recent edition of Wine Spectator, we were thrilled to discover that our $16 Coastal Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded 89 points with a positive write-up in the category as a “wine to keep”.  You won’t find much better value out there. This lovely, elegant red hails from coastal vineyards and is mostly fermented with its natural (not commercial) yeast followed by maturation in French oak. As the “stay at home” lifestyle is becoming the new norm, this is the type of wine that fits both food and budget and is a weeknight regular in the Safriel household.

     

     

    Talking and Listening To You

    Most of our wine was sold in restaurants prior to the Corona pandemic and we really appreciate everyone who has bought our wine to enjoy at home while supporting a family business. We always love to hear back from you so let us know where and when you have enjoyed our wines or post them on Instagram or Facebook and tag us @safrielhouse or #safrielhouse.

     

     

    All the best,

    Lynne and Yair

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