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We Win!!

Date: Mon, Sep 14, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



Ok, it's not Dombeya, but same genus and species. We will be releasing another brand to the market in November ( Haskell), a project that we have been working on for over four years with an eye to making wines that are seen as being amongst the best that South Africa is capable of producing.

We're off to a good start. This week, the Haskell Pillars Syrah 2007 became the first South African wine ever to win the prestigious Tri Nations Challenge against Australia and New Zealand. The field for this event is unique because it is made up of the best wines from each country, with entry by invitation only.

In doing so, the Pillars 2007 won the Trophy for Best Shiraz(Syrah), Best Red Wine, and Best Wine of Show. In the history of the competition, no South African wine has ever won either category. To say that it has created a stir would be an understatement. Rianie flew to Sydney on Friday to collect her gongs and we're all very excited about what is ahead for the both brands.

We're still in the process of getting our website on-line but you can find out a little more about Haskell at www.haskellvineyards.com.

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SA can make good Merlot

Date: Mon, Aug 31, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Rianie Strydom



Over the weekend I shared a bottle of the Morgenhof Merlot '98 with some friends and the wine was superb! It had a beautiful dark purple black colour and the flavours was dark chocolate, black cherries, a bit of Christmas pudding and just more'ish all along.

Being well aged the tannins was silky smooth with a taste that went on forever. I wished the bottle would not come to an end. The wine is now drinking at its peak and if any out there have a couple of them please enjoy them now.

If you can, keep the whole bottle for yourself. With a wine like this any occasion is a special one.

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SA can make good Merlot

Date: Mon, Aug 31, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Rianie Strydom



Over the weekend I shared a bottle of the Morgenhof Merlot '98 with some friends and the wine was superb! It had a beautiful dark purple black colour and the flavours was dark chocolate, black cherries, a bit of Christmas pudding and just more'ish all along.

Being well aged the tannins was silky smooth with a taste that went on forever. I wished the bottle would not come to an end. The wine is now drinking at its peak and if any out there have a couple of them please enjoy them now.

If you can, keep the whole bottle for yourself. With a wine like this any occasion is a special one.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Around the World with Dombeya

Date: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



Great to see people getting into the spirit of Dombeya's "Around the World with Dombeya" competition. Each year, we give away ten cases of wine to the best picture that someone sends in with a bottle of Dombeya in it. Sharon van Aswegen sent this picture with a bottle of Dombeya Boulder Road Shiraz 2006 from a night with her regular tasting group. Notably, there is a bit of a 'ring-in' offering his advice on aromatic qualities (obviously near the end of the evening!).

We're just disappointed that he doesn't look more enthused!

Many thanks to Sharon. She's now in the running for the end of year prize.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Wine Magazine Shiraz Challenge 2009- Top 10 for Dombeya

Date: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



We do enter our wines in a few shows and competitions, both in South Africa and internationally. It is one means of getting some recognition for your brand, and unfortunately in the wine game, without that you are going to struggle to make a go of things.

But like a lot of 'marketing', there is always a question mark over just how effective wine show results are in bringing you to the attention of consumers. Once upon a time winning a trophy was a sure bet to help you sell out of stock. Nowadays the publicity trail is quite fragmented, and at the same time cluttered with more competitions all vying for the high moral ground. There is less certainty about the benefit of competing, and every year more entries and a higher standard of wine quality as well. Then there is the cost.

This is one of the key hazards to entering a lot of shows. If you enter every one, it really puts a hole in your marketing budget. You need to sit down and plan your route of attack, add up the numbers and then make a calculated decision.

One wine that we tend to show a lot is our Boulder Road Shiraz. Every year, it comes up trumps for us in a major wine competition. In 2007, it won Double Gold at the Veritas Awards. In 2008, it won Top Gold ( Best in Class) at the IWSC in London, and this year it has just finished Top 10 in the 2009 Shiraz Challenge, South Africa's only Shiraz dedicated wine show.

It is a nice accolade in a growing and very competitive category. This year there were over 200 entries. It is also an 'open' field, where wines of all price points compete against each other.

Here are the judges comments,

Dombeya Boulder Road 2007
CELLAR PRICE R96
Alc 14. 4%
Black, purple rim. Aromatic nose showing floral notes, chocolate and spice gives way to a medium bodied palate with juicy fruit, bright acidity and "chewy" tannins. Keep for 2 to 4 years.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Around the World with Dombeya

Date: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



Great to see people getting into the spirit of Dombeya's "Around the World with Dombeya" competition. Each year, we give away ten cases of wine to the best picture that someone sends in with a bottle of Dombeya in it. Sharon van Aswegen sent this picture with a bottle of Dombeya Boulder Road Shiraz 2006 from a night with her regular tasting group. Notably, there is a bit of a 'ring-in' offering his advice on aromatic qualities (obviously near the end of the evening!).

We're just disappointed that he doesn't look more enthused!

Many thanks to Sharon. She's now in the running for the end of year prize.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Wine Magazine Shiraz Challenge 2009- Top 10 for Dombeya

Date: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Angie Tieling



We do enter our wines in a few shows and competitions, both in South Africa and internationally. It is one means of getting some recognition for your brand, and unfortunately in the wine game, without that you are going to struggle to make a go of things.

But like a lot of 'marketing', there is always a question mark over just how effective wine show results are in bringing you to the attention of consumers. Once upon a time winning a trophy was a sure bet to help you sell out of stock. Nowadays the publicity trail is quite fragmented, and at the same time cluttered with more competitions all vying for the high moral ground. There is less certainty about the benefit of competing, and every year more entries and a higher standard of wine quality as well. Then there is the cost.

This is one of the key hazards to entering a lot of shows. If you enter every one, it really puts a hole in your marketing budget. You need to sit down and plan your route of attack, add up the numbers and then make a calculated decision.

One wine that we tend to show a lot is our Boulder Road Shiraz. Every year, it comes up trumps for us in a major wine competition. In 2007, it won Double Gold at the Veritas Awards. In 2008, it won Top Gold ( Best in Class) at the IWSC in London, and this year it has just finished Top 10 in the 2009 Shiraz Challenge, South Africa's only Shiraz dedicated wine show.

It is a nice accolade in a growing and very competitive category. This year there were over 200 entries. It is also an 'open' field, where wines of all price points compete against each other.

Here are the judges comments,

Dombeya Boulder Road 2007
CELLAR PRICE R96
Alc 14. 4%
Black, purple rim. Aromatic nose showing floral notes, chocolate and spice gives way to a medium bodied palate with juicy fruit, bright acidity and "chewy" tannins. Keep for 2 to 4 years.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Giving back a little.....

Date: Wed, Aug 19, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Wikus Pretorius



As another cold spell hits the Western Cape, leaving everybody running for cover and or the covers, it's time for vines to be pruned and composting to start.

All vine cuttings are collected and chipped, garden waste that had been collected throughout the year is mixed in along with some straw, grape marc and stems from the previous vintage. This is then scooped up and mixed and then placed in long piles (windrows) for the decomposing process to start.

We have been composting all the cellar, vineyard and garden waste for the past two seasons and already we can see what positive effect it has had, not only on our vines and soil ,but the budget as well.

As far as pruning is concerned we started with our young vines and chardonnay this week, weather permitting we should finish by the end of the week and then move to merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. The timing of pruning is determined by budding dates, so varieties like chardonnay that bud early in the season are pruned first and varieties like cab and mourvedre and are pruned later in the season.

P.S. Keep warm..., I suggest getting cosy with a bottle of Dombeya should do the trick.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Giving back a little.....

Date: Wed, Aug 19, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Wikus Pretorius



As another cold spell hits the Western Cape, leaving everybody running for cover and or the covers, it's time for vines to be pruned and composting to start.

All vine cuttings are collected and chipped, garden waste that had been collected throughout the year is mixed in along with some straw, grape marc and stems from the previous vintage. This is then scooped up and mixed and then placed in long piles (windrows) for the decomposing process to start.

We have been composting all the cellar, vineyard and garden waste for the past two seasons and already we can see what positive effect it has had, not only on our vines and soil ,but the budget as well.

As far as pruning is concerned we started with our young vines and chardonnay this week, weather permitting we should finish by the end of the week and then move to merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. The timing of pruning is determined by budding dates, so varieties like chardonnay that bud early in the season are pruned first and varieties like cab and mourvedre and are pruned later in the season.

P.S. Keep warm..., I suggest getting cosy with a bottle of Dombeya should do the trick.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Talking Wine- The 'Five Flies' crew hit Dombeya

Date: Fri, Aug 7, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Grant Dodd



They're a likely looking bunch...this is the team from the excellent Cape Town restaurant, 'Five Flies', who popped out to Dombeya in between shifts to taste some wines with us on Saturday.

Five Flies is located in the heart of 'old' Cape Town, and have been around long enough to be considered in the establishment given the fickle nature of the Cape Town dining scene.

They're just another Cape Town restaurant that has listed Dombeya in the past month, so it was great to have them out to the cellar to taste some wine and share some delicious pizza. They have an excellent wine list and the staff are some of friendliest and most enthusiastic people you will meet, so if you are in the area drop in and say hi.

14-16 Keerom St, Cape Town

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Talking Wine- The 'Five Flies' crew hit Dombeya

Date: Fri, Aug 7, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Grant Dodd



They're a likely looking bunch...this is the team from the excellent Cape Town restaurant, 'Five Flies', who popped out to Dombeya in between shifts to taste some wines with us on Saturday.

Five Flies is located in the heart of 'old' Cape Town, and have been around long enough to be considered in the establishment given the fickle nature of the Cape Town dining scene.

They're just another Cape Town restaurant that has listed Dombeya in the past month, so it was great to have them out to the cellar to taste some wine and share some delicious pizza. They have an excellent wine list and the staff are some of friendliest and most enthusiastic people you will meet, so if you are in the area drop in and say hi.

14-16 Keerom St, Cape Town

Read Full Wine Blog Post

On the Road with Dombeya- July in J'burg

Date: Thu, Aug 6, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Grant Dodd



It would be nice if you could just sit at home on the farm, make wine, and have people flock to your door wanting to buy your whole production.

There are a few producers for whom this system of commerce holds true, but not many. For most in the ever expanding world of fine wine, the only way to garner a following and to sell product is to hit the road and meet the people who are selling and drinking your wine.

This of course means time away from the Cape winelands. The biggest domestic market for wine in South Africa is Johannesburg, and it is a market that needs constant massaging and attention because there are hundreds of other producers all trying to get a foot in the most of the same doors as you.

There is no magic formula for wine sales. Positive reviews from opinion leaders are important, but getting your wine into the mouths and onto the tables of consumers who shell out their hard earned for the privilege is where it is at.

It is for this reason that dinners like the one we held at the Local Grill, Hurlingham, are worth their weight in gold. You get to meet great people who are passionate about wine and keen to find out about new brands like ours. You get to have an enjoyable evening with like-minded wine lovers, and in most instances, sell a few bottles of wine. In the wash-up, hopefully you also end up with a few people who feel connected enough to your wines to continue supporting you and who tell their friends and colleagues about them as well.

We had a terrific night with around 25 or so people who were members of The Local Grill's wine club. Most of them were newcomers to drinking Dombeya. Nights like these make you understand what the trek up from the Cape and the slow slog through the J'burg traffic is all for.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

On the Road with Dombeya- July in J'burg

Date: Thu, Aug 6, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Grant Dodd



It would be nice if you could just sit at home on the farm, make wine, and have people flock to your door wanting to buy your whole production.

There are a few producers for whom this system of commerce holds true, but not many. For most in the ever expanding world of fine wine, the only way to garner a following and to sell product is to hit the road and meet the people who are selling and drinking your wine.

This of course means time away from the Cape winelands. The biggest domestic market for wine in South Africa is Johannesburg, and it is a market that needs constant massaging and attention because there are hundreds of other producers all trying to get a foot in the most of the same doors as you.

There is no magic formula for wine sales. Positive reviews from opinion leaders are important, but getting your wine into the mouths and onto the tables of consumers who shell out their hard earned for the privilege is where it is at.

It is for this reason that dinners like the one we held at the Local Grill, Hurlingham, are worth their weight in gold. You get to meet great people who are passionate about wine and keen to find out about new brands like ours. You get to have an enjoyable evening with like-minded wine lovers, and in most instances, sell a few bottles of wine. In the wash-up, hopefully you also end up with a few people who feel connected enough to your wines to continue supporting you and who tell their friends and colleagues about them as well.

We had a terrific night with around 25 or so people who were members of The Local Grill's wine club. Most of them were newcomers to drinking Dombeya. Nights like these make you understand what the trek up from the Cape and the slow slog through the J'burg traffic is all for.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Blogging Blues, and no recession in New Media

Date: Tue, Jul 28, 2009 Winery Blogs

by Sune Sounes



The evolving face of winecriticism is visible everywhere on the net at the moment. Wine bloggers continue to pop up at a rate of knots. The diversity of opinion , however qualified or informed, has never been higher. This corresponds to an ever decreasing wine presence in the traditional print media, where the rationalisation of cost has dictated that wine columns, and columnists, are amongst the first fat to be trimmed.

With this increase in wine coverage has come a growing debate about the ethics of wine writing. In an age where the boundaries of old school journalism and the immediacy of new school, stream of consciousness, self published opinon are becoming increasingly blurred, the question is being asked, "Who regulates the bloggers?"

The reaction by figures like Anthony Dias Blue (above) follows an ongoing on-line scrap regarding writers from the influential Wine Advocate taking paid trips to Argentina and Australia, against the ethical protocols set out by Wine Advocate founder Robert Parker Jr It hasn't pleased Blue, or the Wine Advocate, that leading bloggers like Tyler Colman have taken the Advocate to task over this and that it has blown up into something of a scandal. Ironically, the net story then inspired the Wall St Journal to take a closer look.

The proliferation of new media has also led to a new industry popping up, specifically a consultative based one offering advice on how to utilise social media in brand building. Patently there is a dollar in it, given the number of blogging conferences and seminars on new media relating to how the wine industry can benefit.

There are also some interesting study results being published with regard to market trends relating to 'millenial ( people under 32 years of age) consumption of wine. Notably, this group are already the demographic with the second highest wine consumption rate in the U.S., and this rate is growing at 46% annually.

This trend is contradicted in Europe, where younger drinkers are drinking less wine

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