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Dombeya Open day 2009 - Many Thanks

Date: Thu, Jun 25, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



Last Saturday ( June 20) we held our annual Open Day, a get -together for friends of Dombeya where we opened every wine we have ever made, played a bit of music and just had some fun whilst drinking good wine

It was great to see how many people turned up to join us, a nice mix of regular buyers, new faces and people who just saw a mention on the internet and decided to come for a drive and see for themselves what was going on.

We were lucky with the weather. Come Sunday, the Helderberg was obscured by fog and mist and the temperature had dropped five degrees. Someone was looking out for us. We'll post a few more pictures of the day as the week passes, including some 'interesting' ones of the Human Llama Trophy contest!

Once again, thanks to everyone for coming and we look forward to catching up again next year.

Cheers

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Le Montreal-chet?

Date: Wed, Jun 17, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Grant Dodd



More evidence emerging of the difficulties being faced by French wine farmersat the less glamorous end of the appelation system. A new book about to be published suggests that up to a third of those who occupy Bordeaux AOC status may lose their businesses within the year.
 
The Dr Vino blog, amongst other things, looks at an attempt by the Canadian wine industry to build its profile by conducting a ' Judgement of Paris' style Chardonnay tasting The details of all the wines tasted aren't listed, but given that a Canadian wine won there is a bit of hoopla from within Canada to get the word out. Of course, seeing what it was up against would be quite instructive. A Rosemount Estate Chardonnay from Australia came third.
 
Alder Yarrow on his blog looks at the state of the Californian wine game and the flow on effect of lower sales on a major start up in the wine logistics game . The US wine industry is strictly controlled from a distribution and retailing point of view but with the potential entry of Amazon into wine retail on-line the market may be about to open up. In that eventuality, logistics will be a key issue to be dealt with, so it is interesting that the business mentioned couldn't make a go of things

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Le Montreal-chet?

Date: Wed, Jun 17, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



More evidence emerging of the difficulties being faced by French wine farmersat the less glamorous end of the appelation system. A new book about to be published suggests that up to a third of those who occupy Bordeaux AOC status may lose their businesses within the year.

The Dr Vino blog, amongst other things, looks at an attempt by the Canadian wine industry to build its profile by conducting a ' Judgement of Paris' style Chardonnay tasting The details of all the wines tasted aren't listed, but given that a Canadian wine won there is a bit of hoopla from within Canada to get the word out. Of course, seeing what it was up against would be quite instructive. A Rosemount Estate Chardonnay from Australia came third.

Alder Yarrow on his blog looks at the state of the Californian wine game and the flow on effect of lower sales on a major start up in the wine logistics game . The US wine industry is strictly controlled from a distribution and retailing point of view but with the potential entry of Amazon into wine retail on-line the market may be about to open up. In that eventuality, logistics will be a key issue to be dealt with, so it is interesting that the business mentioned couldn't make a go of things.

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Dombeya Scholarship 2009- Ntando in Australia-Redux

Date: Tue, Jun 16, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Ntando Buthelezi



I am back home from Australia, and into the swing of things at Dombeya It feels great to be back, but I must thank the AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) and the University of Adelaide for hosting me. Especially Prof Roger Lee (Head of Agriculture and Wine) at the University of Adelaide , Prof. Isaak Pretorius (Managing director of AWRI), Dr. Kerry Wilkinson and Dr Keren Bindon( Research Scientists at AWRI) for hosting me and allowing me to work with their students. It was an honour and a privilege to work under Dr. Bindon as she was my former lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch before she moved to the AWRI. It was both challenging and eye opening working under her again as she knew my habits and pushed me to think outside of my realm!

I chose this picture as a memoir for me, (Dr. Kerry on the right and Dr Keren on the left). Australia treated me with kindness; I will certainly miss the country and thank everybody who participated to make this scholarship a success that it was!

A huge thank you goes out to Dombeya. Without the scholarship, I would not know what I now know. I thank you for investing in me both financially and emotionally, and for preparing me for the journey ahead. I encourage this year's graduates to apply for the scholarship as it is a wonderful opportunity for recent graduates with little or no practical experience in the wine industry.

You will be challenged, motivated and encouraged to learn and work hard. It's an opportunity to work, study and learn abroad. It's a chance of a life time where you will meet people you would have never met. It gives you a stepping stone to the future by building a bridge between the gap of university and wine industry itself. It's a mentoring programme that is well organized and fulfilling,and an exciting one where you get to network and grow as you are tested on many aspects. Your thoughts become shaped differently and you begin to realize where research fits into the wine making and how the two merge, that they are not independent from each other. Your capabilities will be tested in all levels.

This opportunity will deepen your practical knowledge and broaden your perspective of the global wine industry. It will also create a comparative basis in your endeavours since not only would you have read about the Australian wine industry but you would have experienced it!

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Dombeya Scholarship 2009- Ntando in Australia-Redux

Date: Tue, Jun 16, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Ntando Buthelezi



I am back home from Australia, and into the swing of things at Dombeya It feels great to be back, but I must thank the AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) and the University of Adelaide for hosting me. Especially Prof Roger Lee (Head of Agriculture and Wine) at the University of Adelaide , Prof. Isaak Pretorius (Managing director of AWRI), Dr. Kerry Wilkinson and Dr Keren Bindon( Research Scientists at AWRI) for hosting me and allowing me to work with their students. It was an honour and a privilege to work under Dr. Bindon as she was my former lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch before she moved to the AWRI. It was both challenging and eye opening working under her again as she knew my habits and pushed me to think outside of my realm!

I chose this picture as a memoir for me, (Dr. Kerry on the right and Dr Keren on the left). Australia treated me with kindness; I will certainly miss the country and thank everybody who participated to make this scholarship a success that it was!

A huge thank you goes out to Dombeya. Without the scholarship, I would not know what I now know. I thank you for investing in me both financially and emotionally, and for preparing me for the journey ahead. I encourage this year's graduates to apply for the scholarship as it is a wonderful opportunity for recent graduates with little or no practical experience in the wine industry.

You will be challenged, motivated and encouraged to learn and work hard. It's an opportunity to work, study and learn abroad. It's a chance of a life time where you will meet people you would have never met. It gives you a stepping stone to the future by building a bridge between the gap of university and wine industry itself. It's a mentoring programme that is well organized and fulfilling,and an exciting one where you get to network and grow as you are tested on many aspects. Your thoughts become shaped differently and you begin to realize where research fits into the wine making and how the two merge, that they are not independent from each other. Your capabilities will be tested in all levels.

This opportunity will deepen your practical knowledge and broaden your perspective of the global wine industry. It will also create a comparative basis in your endeavours since not only would you have read about the Australian wine industry but you would have experienced it!

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Dombeya Wines Open Day 2009

Date: Mon, Jun 15, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



Come and join us for the Dombeya Wines Open Day 2009, on Saturday June 20.

On show will be every Dombeya wine ever made.
We will be braaing up some boerewors, playing some music and having a bit of fun as well.

Everyone is welcome, so bring your friends and kids as well.

ETA: 11am

Place: Haskell Vineyards, Annandale Road, Stellenbosch

Cost: None

RSVP: June 17 to Angelique at angelique@dombeyawines.com or 021—881 3895

Hope you can join us!

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Rose-ish No More

Date: Wed, Jun 10, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



A quick round up of the week in wine news comes up with Dr Vino detailing a few of the mini-drama's surrounding the French wine industry. At the top end of Burgundy and Bordeaux all seems to be rosy, but not down in the trenches where sales and unit prices are falling. A proposal to allow rose' to be made by blending red and white grapes (rather than the traditional saignee' method) created uproar, and has just been outlawed. The struggling French farmers will have to come up with another means by which to shift their excess inventory.

Jamie Goode covers his Australian experiences at the Landmark Australia tasting in his typically passionate and thoughtful way, Jancis Robinson looks at Matthew Jukes'Top 100 Australian winesfor the year and finds much to like, and Jancis's offsider Julia Harding waxes lyrical about the Landmark Australia tastings she has also been attending this week.

Finally, Ton Wark from Fermentation discusses the tricky issue of Wine PR, a matter close to his heart.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Rose-ish No More

Date: Wed, Jun 10, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



A quick round up of the week in wine news comes up with Dr Vino detailing a few of the mini-drama's surrounding the French wine industry. At the top end of Burgundy and Bordeaux all seems to be rosy, but not down in the trenches where sales and unit prices are falling. A proposal to allow rose' to be made by blending red and white grapes (rather than the traditional saignee' method) created uproar, and has just been outlawed. The struggling French farmers will have to come up with another means by which to shift their excess inventory.

Jamie Goode covers his Australian experiences at the Landmark Australia tasting in his typically passionate and thoughtful way, Jancis Robinson looks at Matthew Jukes'Top 100 Australian winesfor the year and finds much to like, and Jancis's offsider Julia Harding waxes lyrical about the Landmark Australia tastings she has also been attending this week.

Finally, Ton Wark from Fermentation discusses the tricky issue of Wine PR, a matter close to his heart.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Rose-ish No More

Date: Wed, Jun 10, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Sune Sounes



A quick round up of the week in wine news comes up with Dr Vino detailing a few of the mini-drama's surrounding the French wine industry. At the top end of Burgundy and Bordeaux all seems to be rosy, but not down in the trenches where sales and unit prices are falling. A proposal to allow rose' to be made by blending red and white grapes (rather than the traditional saignee' method) created uproar, and has just been outlawed. The struggling French farmers will have to come up with another means by which to shift their excess inventory.

Jamie Goode covers his Australian experiences at the Landmark Australia tasting in his typically passionate and thoughtful way, Jancis Robinson looks at Matthew Jukes' Top 100 Australain wines for the year and finds much to like, and Jancis's offsider Julia Harding waxes
lyrical about the Landmark Australia tastings she has also been attending this week.

Finally, Ton Wark from Fermentation discusses the tricky issue of Wine PR, a matter close to his heart.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Speed before the Fall

Date: Tue, Jun 2, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



The ongoing saga of Dombeya assistant winemaker Wikus Pretorius continues. Regular visitors will recall that a coupe of years back, Wikus had a horrendous motorcycle accident and snapped his femur in half just below the hip.

The recovery process included having a steel rod inserted into his leg, and having the femur attached to the rod by screws. Then he had to be on crutches for some months, undertaking rehab and working to try to get some muscle back in his leg.

A year and a half later, it was time to take the rod out. Unfortunately, another disaster struck. The rod had snapped inside the leg, meaning that the leg had not healed straight. It therefore meant that the old rod had to be taken out, the leg re-broken, straightened, and a new rod inserted and attached.

Four and a half hours in surgery later, the job was done. Needless to say, we are now without an assistant winemaker for a while. Wikus will be lying down for the best part of a month, and has to stay off his leg for three months before he can start to walk around with pressure on the limb.

Needless to say, the motor-cross bike has gone to another home. We all wish Wikus a speedy recovery.

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Speed before the Fall

Date: Tue, Jun 2, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



The ongoing saga of Dombeya assistant winemaker Wikus Pretorius continues. Regular visitors will recall that a coupe of years back, Wikus had a horrendous motorcycle accident and snapped his femur in half just below the hip.

The recovery process included having a steel rod inserted into his leg, and having the femur attached to the rod by screws. Then he had to be on crutches for some months, undertaking rehab and working to try to get some muscle back in his leg.

A year and a half later, it was time to take the rod out. Unfortunately, another disaster struck. The rod had snapped inside the leg, meaning that the leg had not healed straight. It therefore meant that the old rod had to be taken out, the leg re-broken, straightened, and a new rod inserted and attached.

Four and a half hours in surgery later, the job was done. Needless to say, we are now without an assistant winemaker for a while. Wikus will be lying down for the best part of a month, and has to stay off his leg for three months before he can start to walk around with pressure on the limb.

Needless to say, the motor-cross bike has gone to another home. We all wish Wikus a speedy recovery.

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Gongs for the Big Brother ( or should that be Sister?)

Date: Mon, Jun 1, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Rianie Strydom



We've got a looming gender indentity crisis- should our Haskell brand be nominally male or female...is it a big brother or big sister? Does it come down to wine style, or the gender of the winemaker, or should we avoid all the implications and complications and just be friends?!

We'll work it out. The great news is that the Haskell Pillars Syrah 2007 has been awarded a Gold Medal at South Africa's most credentialled wine show, The Trophy Wine Show, one of only seven gold medals to be awarded for red wines. It is the first release of this wine, and the first in the Haskell Syrah Vineyard Series, an exploration of site and terroir that is a particular focus of the Haskell program.

The Haskell brand has been a work in progress ever since we started, and the goal was specifically to produce wines that could stand toe to toe with the very best that South Africa was capable of producing. Whether we have done that or not is up to others to decide, but we are ecstatic with what we have put into bottle and very comfortable that we have at least met our own expectations. It will have taken us the best part of five years to bring the brand to market.

The Pillars Vineyard is a single site, with a very high stone fraction content on the Haskell Vineyards estate. It is just under a hectare in size, and produces beautifully fragrant fruit with a decidely floral/rose petal aromatic quality. The delicacy on the nose is also apparent in the flavour profile, with lots of attractive red fruit and great purity of flavour. We'll have more info on the new Haskell Vineyards website when it is up and running in the near future.

The Haskell SVS wines will be released to the market on November 1. The flagship Bordeaux blend, Haskell IV, will come out in February 2010.
For sales inquiries on the Haskell brand, please contact Rianie Strydom at rianie@haskellvineyards.com , or call at 082 290 6399.

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Gongs for the Big Brother ( or should that be Sister?)

Date: Mon, Jun 1, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Rianie Strydom



We've got a looming gender indentity crisis- should our Haskell brand be nominally male or female...is it a big brother or big sister? Does it come down to wine style, or the gender of the winemaker, or should we avoid all the implications and complications and just be friends?!

We'll work it out. The great news is that the Haskell Pillars Syrah 2007 has been awarded a Gold Medal at South Africa's most credentialled wine show, The Trophy Wine Show, one of only seven gold medals to be awarded for red wines. It is the first release of this wine, and the first in the Haskell Syrah Vineyard Series, an exploration of site and terroir that is a particular focus of the Haskell program.

The Haskell brand has been a work in progress ever since we started, and the goal was specifically to produce wines that could stand toe to toe with the very best that South Africa was capable of producing. Whether we have done that or not is up to others to decide, but we are ecstatic with what we have put into bottle and very comfortable that we have at least met our own expectations. It will have taken us the best part of five years to bring the brand to market.

The Pillars Vineyard is a single site, with a very high stone fraction content on the Haskell Vineyards estate. It is just under a hectare in size, and produces beautifully fragrant fruit with a decidely floral/rose petal aromatic quality. The delicacy on the nose is also apparent in the flavour profile, with lots of attractive red fruit and great purity of flavour. We'll have more info on the new Haskell Vineyards website when it is up and running in the near future.

The Haskell SVS wines will be released to the market on November 1. The flagship Bordeaux blend, Haskell IV, will come out in February 2010.
For sales inquiries on the Haskell brand, please contact Rianie Strydom at rianie@haskellvineyards.com , or call at 082 290 6399.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

The 'Glamorous' side of Winemaking

Date: Fri, May 29, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



It's raining, and pretty cold in Stellenbosch today. You can feel the onset of winter creeping up on things. The leaves on the vines are all quickly changing from green to gold and red, following which they will drop off and leave the vines naked and ready for pruning later in the season.

It occurs that this is the least 'glamorous' time of the year to be in the wine business. Glamorous is of course a relative term- most people toiling at the coalface of the wine industry would suggest in no uncertain terms that such a descriptor rarely applies to what we do.

But the days post vintage where the energies invested in processing grapes and making edgy choices about harvesting dates are in the past would certainly qualify as being at the more mundane end of the excitement scale. Nonetheless, they are extremely important, critical in fact from a quality point of view. It is a time where wines that have finished ferment are transferred into barrel, where tanks are being cleaned out, barrels topped up- the menial, nuts and bolts, behind the scenes activities that are integral to every quality wine producer's ability to bring their brand to market.

And someone has to do the job. This means long hours and repetitive work, but attention to detail is paramount. Mind's need to be in the right place. At this moment too, our assistant winemaker Wikus is laid up in hospital after a 4.5 hour operation on his leg. Wikus would normally be in charge of all these duties, and overseeing things to make sure that they are performed and finished in the right way. He's not here, but fortunately for us we have some great help in Sylvester and Ntando to take up the slack.

Sylvester has been with us for a couple of years now, a young guy who is developing into an important part of the Dombeya team. He's going to be doing some study later this year to sharpen his skills and wine knowledge, and Ntando is our 2009 Dombeya Scholarship recipient who is back from a work and study trip in Australia and is spending some time with us whilst she looks around for further opportunities in the wine industry.

Carrying buckets of wine around, climbing ladders, and moving hoses- not quite what the glossy magazines would have you believe winemaking is all about!

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