The 2011 training harvest at Ellensburg’s, Cape Institute for Agricultural Training saw the birth of some excellent wines.
Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Less than a hectare of vines were harvested at 23° Balling. The grapes were co-fermented to bring out the best of the cultivar. It produced a fresh crisp wine with prominent green and tropical fruit notes.
Mourvedré Rose 2011
Harvested at 21° Balling. The free-run juice was inoculated with an experimental two stage yeast. Fermentation was initiated by a wild yeast strain and then inoculated with a commercial strain. It produced a wine with creamy, guava notes. This was used as a blend component in a rose.
The crushed berries with skin contact of 12 hours produced pressed juice that started with spontaneous fermentation. The wild yeast produced strong mulberry and cherry aromas. Since the years delivered such impressive results under white wine making conditions, a sample of the yeast was sent to the Agricultural Research Council for isolation.
Pinotage Bush-vines 2011
One and a half hectares of 15 year old Pinotage bush-vines were harvested at 28° Balling and produced 4 tons of premium quality berries. After a nine day fermentation, the wine was inoculated with a Lactic Acid bacteria and left to complete malolactic fermentation. On the 31st of May the wine was transferred to five 500 liter barrels. Three of the barrels are traditional French oak while the other 2 barrels are lesser known French acacia wood. This is an experiment to see what unique character the acacia matured wine can potentially add to the final blend. Results at this stage is promising.
Rose Blend 2011
Nicknamed e-lolipop, this is a four way blend of 60% Pinotage, 25% Petit Verdot, 15% Mourvedre(2 parts named above). All components were fermented separately and blended to produce a wine with strong red lollipop and candy-floss notes. This wine was chosen to be bottled for the Cape Agricultural Department.