What do Vignerons Do In Lockdown?
From Selfridges of London
Human, not corporate, independent wines.
- Life goes on.
- Explaining "Reserve".
- What have we been doing in lockdown?
"Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on” - The BeatlesWe are still here! An accomplishment in the strange times we live in. Indeed, life does go on and since our last missive to you, we were delighted to successfully bring our new Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chenin Blanc to market.
According to WineFolly.com, "barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc is a rare specialty and definitely worth tasting". We couldn’t agree more. Barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc has a smoother and riper flavor profile compared with its tank fermented brethren. We used egg-shaped fermenters and barrel fermentation for a wealth of intense flavors. We also introduced new artwork for this wine: a view of Table Mountain across the bay, a courtesy of our mom who bought the painting many years ago. Close your eyes and the wine will transport you there.
When vines were first introduced to the Cape of Good Hope in 1655, Chenin Blanc was one of the three original vines. Chenin Blanc has become to South Africa what Zinfandel is to California and Malbec to Argentina: a variety that originated in Europe, but has found incredible expression in the New World. Our Reserve Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc is made in a new world style: rich, complex, aromatic with fruit and structure.
Explaining "Reserve"We are sometimes asked how does a wine attain Reserve status for Safriel House. Our reserve wines are destined to be such from the outset. These are vineyards in hallow terroir (Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon) and heritage vineyards (Reserve Chenin Blanc). The wines are made in a bold New World style and lavished with new French oak. Both wines are also certified for Sustainability & Integrity, Fair and Ethical Trade and, in the case of the Reserve Cabernet, certified Carbon Neutral.
With that said, our other wines are not a second label. We wouldn’t know how to make a second label - that would be like trying to come second in the 100 yard race. Our Coastal Cabernet, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are made as New Wave style wines from small parcels on undiscovered or forgotten blocks and the winemaking is guided by minimal intervention and natural wine making principles. These reflect a modern wine making style that allows the vineyard to tell the tale, crafting the most honest expression of the fruit of the vine.
What have we been doing in lockdown?What do vignerons and winery proprietors do when they can’t travel and explore for new vineyards? You probably guessed it. They drink good wine, of course. The extended home time has been affording us an opportunity to have technical tastings where we compare different wine making styles and play around with ideas for blends. This is the time NOT to save wine, but to put it into your hands and drink it. We have also been talking to, and listening to many of our fellow winemakers. To quote a great winemaker "You can’t make good wine on your own. You must collaborate with great professionals.”
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. As always, there is lots more about our wines at our virtual cellar door at www.safrielhouse.com
All the best,
Lynne and Yair