Few wine­mak­ers are brave enough to take on the Pinot Noir vine and cham­pion a wor­thy vin­tage

Destiny Man - - DOWNTIME -

Abrie Bruwer, fourth-gen­er­a­tion Spring­field wine­maker and owner of Robert­son’s land­mark home of ex­em­plary Pinot Noir, loves the nec­tar. “It’s a vine that am­pli­fies any flaws in the grow­ing process,” he says. “The berries ripen ear­lier than other va­ri­etals and suf­fer root rot and sun­burn very eas­ily, never mind the birds that love a good peck. And if you’re for­tu­nate enough to dodge all that Mother Na­ture throws at you, the wine-mak­ing process takes equal amounts of care.”

From work­ing the skins early in the fer­men­ta­tion process to keep­ing the new oak bar­rels free of oxy­gen, Pinot Noir re­wards its maker, if treated cor­rectly. With only three vin­tages re­leased to the pub­lic in close on two decades, the most re­cent be­ing 2015, the Bruwer fam­ily get to drink ev­ery­thing that doesn’t pass muster, with not a sin­gle bot­tle re­leased.

TAST­ING NOTE: All wine – red, white or sparkling – should be chilled. Yes, even that 2011 Whole Berry Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, or the 2015 Pinot Noir. Chill it in your fridge for 15 min­utes be­fore serv­ing, as that’s when the magic hap­pens.

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