Graham Beck Wines Harvest 2012 – News IV

Recuperating after the – “State of Emergency of 30 hours” On Tuesday 31st January we had the opportunity to taste some 59 different components of base wines in fermentations and some by now, after the rise in temperature because of the cooling debacle, went dry overnight. Well surprisingly we are relieved to say that most ferments are sound however there are definitely 5 tanks that will need some TLC. The rise in temperature has certainly had taken its toll but then we did try our utmost best, yes, nothing less! Happy to report that the cooling is back to normal and still running. Believe you me we check regularly to hear if it is still running. Having the cooling back mad it another big day of receiving grapes. Another three days and the pressure should subside and we can think again. What a crazy season we are experiencing.
We are happy to introduce you to our two student winemakers that arrived from Burgundy. They are part of the exchange programme between Elsenburg and the Burgundy Wine School, in France. Hopefully later in the year we will have one of our cellar guys going to Burgundy on exchange. They will spend the next two weeks with our team in Robertson.

On the left we have Romain from the village of Volnay where their family has a winery and on the right we have Alexis form the town of Nuits-St George also from a family winemaking tradition. Here they joined in tasting the base wines.

They form part of our “DreamTeam 2012” and they have settled in quickly and hit the ground running. Below is the DreamTeam 2012

Then the saying goes behind every “DreamTeam” there is a “RealTeam”. An amazing bunch of passionate hardworking guys. They make us all proud.


Now here you can see into the “spaghetti factory” … This is how it looks on a typical seriously busy day when quality and press fractions run at the same time – there will be a team racking the previous day’s clear settled juices to fermentation – the lees will be filtered from one tank to another… This all happens at the same time. It is ‘fun’ to watch the team in the mornings when they hurry for their favourite pump! Quite funny but there are some days we run out of pumps and wine hoses – crazy.

On the right the progress of fermentations of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Base Wines. Soon they will be ready to be filled into full identities and we will start select them for the various Cap Classique wine styles.

Very soon we will finish our harvesting for our base wines destined for Cap Classique. The weather has been really challenging in the last 10 days or so from extreme temperatures of 43 degrees to an electric storm (which only happens in the movies!) which 20mm of rain. This storm caused severe damages to the transformer in the vicinity of our cellar and we had the loss of most of our electricity for six hours. Yet, just another challenge.
Another half day is done at Graham Beck Robertson. Sight like this does however add colour to our days of hard work. The window period is now drawing to an end on our picking for base wines. What a rollercoaster of a ride – scary at times but exhilarating and rewarding!
Current intake graph of grapes below up to 6 February 2012:
Chardonnay 815 Tons and Pinot Noir 750 Tons = 1 565 Tons

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