Region / Western Cape

Showing 1–24 of 28 results

BLANKbottle “Retirement @ 65” 2020

R310.01 inc. VAT
"In June 2014, I arrived at a farm in Darling where I was met by a very grumpy farmer. And for good reason I soon learnt. I had bought bits of grapes from the farmer during that year’s harvest (which all turned out really promising) and was doing my annual post-harvest farm visit with a fresh barrel sample for the farmer to taste. One of his grape clients had previously persuaded him to farm a little Cinsaut vineyard by method of minimum intervention. Not in an organic kind of a way, but more towards a 300% leave-the- vineyard-to-be kind of way. To make a long story short, due to many contributing factors, all the grapes of this little Cinsaut vineyard ended up going to the pigs and he was blaming his minimum intervention 300% leave-the-vineyard-to-be client for all of this. To make matters worse, for the 62 years prior to this, the vineyard hardly produced grapes sufficient to produce wine with. You see, his grandfather planted the vineyard in 1951 and had still used a horse to plough the land. The vineyard is on the edge of the mountain in a little valley and the only food source around. So as the berries accumulated sugar, the birds would hop from bunch to bunch pricking the berries with their beaks, causing them to rot. And by the time the grapes ripened there weren’t much left. Now things like this interest me. I asked him if we could give it one more try. He reluctantly agreed on the basis that he farms the block the way he believes one should. I, in turn, agreed to buy bird nets to cover the vines and we had a deal. So mid 2014 the vines were neatly pruned and he took care of the weeds. That spring, after bud break, the first soft green shoots appeared. Everything looked good! Then, one Sunday afternoon, I received a photo on whatsapp. It was the vineyard in question with about 20 odd sheep feeding in the vineyard and no sign of the newly formed soft shoots - only brown stumps remaining as the vineyard celebrated it’s 64th birthday. Late that Friday night his sheep had broken through the fence and ate everything green in colour. So there went another crop and the farmer got even more despondent. But he didn't give up and so, in June 2015, he raised the fence. In early November we covered the whole vineyard in bird nets. Finally, in February 2016 (for the first time in 65 years!) the vineyard survived the onslaught of wild animals roaming the hillsides of Darling and we picked a very small, but healthy, crop." Producer's note

BLANKbottle Aasvoel 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"He is the buyer for this little vineyard but the 2014 crop was huge and his tanks were full. I bought what grapes he had left and the wine turned out to be fantastic! So obviously I would love to buy some every year, but the production of a normal year is not high enough to accommodate another buyer. So I became an Aasvoel - an Afrikaans word for a ”vulture” - sitting on a pole, watching the vineyard. If something falls off the truck, I pick it up (figuratively speaking of course!). In other words, if it is a high production year, I get some grapes. In 2015 I got nothing, 2016 and 2017 came and went and I was still sitting on the pole - eagerly watching. And then in harvest 2018 it came: the call “do you want to make another Aasvoel?” Total production 500 bottles - 100% Stellenbosch Verdelho. " Producer's note

BLANKbottle Air Carrots of Pagnol 2018

R250.00 inc. VAT
"I know this is a more lengthy release than usual, but this is one story that needs to be told in detail - it’s one of those that, looking back, I can just shake my head in disbelief at how it turned out. Manon des Sources - a 2010 (yes a 9 year old!) bottle aged white blend of Weisser Riesling, Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc In the Elgin Valley, as a passion project, the owner of a mainly fruit farm planted 3 vineyards - Weisser Riesling Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc. In 2012 I took over the grapes from the previous buyer and made my DOC - a white blend of Weisser Riesling, Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc - a wine which represents this little mountainous outcrop. The soil varies immensely from reddish sandstone to granite and clay. After bottling my version (DOC 2012) the owner of the farm asked me if I could bottle a version of the same wine for him for his private consumption or to sell to his friends. Fast forward 7 years and he never got round to selling a bottle. So I bought it all back. I released it and it sold out in a flash. I mean, where do you find a 7-year old bottle-aged white from South Africa? Andre then told me that he had more. The previous buyer of the grapes had also made a white blend for him. A 2010! A dense, rich but fresh 9 year old white wine. What an experience! To taste a 2010 Weisser Riesling blend from South Africa is priceless. “But isn't it way too risky to name a wine Manon des Sources?” my wife asked me. Of course she was right. It’s a brand name owned by somebody somewhere, but the chances of me, here at the tip of Africa with a small batch of wine registering on their radar was very slim. So slim that I was willing to take the risk… Manon des Sources (Manon of the Spring) is a 1966 two-volume novel by Marcel Pagnol and tells the story of a lady living in a small village on the outskirts of Marseille. It's a very famous story and they subsequently made 2 films about the book. I would never have known about the book if it wasn’t for my Swiss friend, Eric, who started calling our daughter, Alexa, Manon des Sources. Alexa and the main character looked so alike: you see, for the first six years of Alexa’s life she did not like to have any fabric in contact with her skin. So my mother-in-law started making these long dresses of very thin soft material. She would wear one dress for about 6 months (day and night), then some nights she’d allow us to wash it and we had to make sure it’s ready for the next morning. Once that particular dress was completely worn out, full of holes, we had to get her into a new one - which was a nightmare to adjust to. She also never combed her hair and never wore shoes. In short: Alexa looked exactly like the lead actress in Manon des Sources. After this particular wine had been bottled, it was Alexa’s turn to design a label (they all get a turn to design a label and I pay them per bottle sold) and she subsequently made a self-sketch with her in her dress and wild hair flying all over. The name of the wine could not have been anything other than Manon des Sources." Producer's note

BLANKbottle B-BOS-1 2018

R250.00 inc. VAT
"My grandmother grew up on a farm near a town called Bredasdorp. It’s about 45 minutes drive from L’Agulhas, where the most Southern point of the African continent is situated. When she got married, she received a wedding gift from her parents - a plot of land right next to the ocean in L’Agulhas. She built a small wooden house with the money she received as wedding gifts (seems like the standard of wedding gifts has lowered significantly in the years since then…). It’s 75 years later and the wooden house called “T-nie-C” is now my mom’s and still fully operational as a family holiday house. This is our post-harvest, post-travel, post-bottling family hideaway and very close to our hearts. The place where the kids and Aneen and I reconnect with each other and ourselves, and also where I design most of my labels. Because of this, I’ve always wanted to produce a wine of origin Cape Agulhas. I had my eye on a few possible sites but it was a phone call from Caroline Rillema, owner of Caroline's Fine Wines (a wine shop in Cape Town), that was the start of an epic venture in this area. Caroline is a formidable force in the wine industry and she and her husband Ray, planted two vineyards on their holiday breakaway smallholding in a little town called Baardskeerdersbos. As the crow flies it is 47 km from our little house in L’Agulhas. If you translate Baardskeerdersbos into English, it means “Beard-Shavers-Bush”, named after a famous spider that lives in these parts of the country. This spider builds its nest from human hair… and the myth goes that when you go to bed at night the Baardskeerder spider will climb into your bed and shave your beard for the construction of his home. So I make wine from two different wines on Caroline’s property - B-BOS-1 and B-BOS-2." - Producer Note

BLANKbottle B.I.G. 2019

R310.01 inc. VAT
"The Swartland Revolution was exactly that: a revolution initiated by Swartland farmers which turned the premium wine market upside down. Suddenly premium higher-priced Bordeaux-style Stellenbosch wines had to share the stage with premium Rhone-style Swartland blends. And so it happened then, that for the past 8 years, the media stuck Cabernet Sauvignon in a dark and dusty corner - not “cool” enough. As some of you might know, at the moment I make wine from 24 varieties. I thought it a bright idea to do something for the neglected, fallen-from-grace Cabernet Sauvignon. I subsequently identified 8 Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, 2 Cabernet franc and 1 Petit Verdot with vastly different heights above sea level: 7 near Somerset West (at 32 to 391 m), 2 on the outskirts of Tulbagh (both at 310 m) and 2 in the Witzenberg’s Koue Bokkeveld (at 734 and 755m). When I first started speaking to the masters of Cabernet here at the Southernmost tip of Africa, the first thing mentioned by most was the dreaded Greenness in Cabernet Sauvignon - a very unwelcome herbaceous / vegetative character. This develops due to high levels of Pyrazines present in the wine - something that's determined by the ripeness level of the grapes. The longer the grape bunches get exposed to sunlight during the growing period, the less Pyrazines - resulting in less greenness in the end product - reducing herbaceousness and amplifying fruit. Here in South Africa we have a unique situation: although we have plenty of sunshine, it is hot and dry. In most instances, by the time the grapes are ripe for picking, it hasn't had long enough sun exposure for the Pyrazines to get to an acceptable level. And if you leave it on the vine for longer, the sugar level gets too high. These sugars are then transformed during fermentation into alcohol resulting in rather high alcoholic wines. So in general, Cabernet creators are in fact chased by the Green Monster. Defended by some, feared by most. What confuses me, though, is that one could argue that this greenness is a stylistic characteristic of wines closer to the ocean, which makes it acceptable. Or does it? Where the exact point lies where herbaceousness turns into greenness - I am not sure. That’s why I decided to make a Cabernet Sauvignon led blend and identified the following 11 vineyards from different heights above sea levels. The closest vineyard to the ocean is 3km and the furthest 3 hours drive." Producer's note

BLANKbottle B.I.G. Magnum 2019

R630.00 inc. VAT
"The Swartland Revolution was exactly that: a revolution initiated by Swartland farmers which turned the premium wine market upside down. Suddenly premium higher-priced Bordeaux-style Stellenbosch wines had to share the stage with premium Rhone-style Swartland blends. And so it happened then, that for the past 8 years, the media stuck Cabernet Sauvignon in a dark and dusty corner - not “cool” enough. As some of you might know, at the moment I make wine from 24 varieties. I thought it a bright idea to do something for the neglected, fallen-from-grace Cabernet Sauvignon. I subsequently identified 8 Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, 2 Cabernet franc and 1 Petit Verdot with vastly different heights above sea level: 7 near Somerset West (at 32 to 391 m), 2 on the outskirts of Tulbagh (both at 310 m) and 2 in the Witzenberg’s Koue Bokkeveld (at 734 and 755m). When I first started speaking to the masters of Cabernet here at the Southernmost tip of Africa, the first thing mentioned by most was the dreaded Greenness in Cabernet Sauvignon - a very unwelcome herbaceous / vegetative character. This develops due to high levels of Pyrazines present in the wine - something that's determined by the ripeness level of the grapes. The longer the grape bunches get exposed to sunlight during the growing period, the less Pyrazines - resulting in less greenness in the end product - reducing herbaceousness and amplifying fruit. Here in South Africa we have a unique situation: although we have plenty of sunshine, it is hot and dry. In most instances, by the time the grapes are ripe for picking, it hasn't had long enough sun exposure for the Pyrazines to get to an acceptable level. And if you leave it on the vine for longer, the sugar level gets too high. These sugars are then transformed during fermentation into alcohol resulting in rather high alcoholic wines. So in general, Cabernet creators are in fact chased by the Green Monster. Defended by some, feared by most. What confuses me, though, is that one could argue that this greenness is a stylistic characteristic of wines closer to the ocean, which makes it acceptable. Or does it? Where the exact point lies where herbaceousness turns into greenness - I am not sure. That’s why I decided to make a Cabernet Sauvignon led blend and identified the following 11 vineyards from different heights above sea levels. The closest vineyard to the ocean is 3km and the furthest 3 hours drive. My eie plaas - Cabernet Sauvignon: Valley floor Firgrove - 32 meters above sea-level. UNITY - Cabernet Sauvignon: Lower slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 116 meters above sea-level. LAN - Cabernet Sauvignon: Firgrove (slope facing towards the Helderberg) - 60m meters above sea-level. COR-CS - Cabernet Sauvignon: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 308 meters above sea-level. COR-CF - Cabernet franc: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 320 meters above sea-level. Sigh of Relief - Cabernet franc: Higher slopes of the Helderberg Somerset West - 391 meters above sea-level. Black Nectar - Petit verdot: Blaauwklippen Road Stellenbosch - 279 meters above sea-level. TOOLBAG Cabernet Sauvignon: Tulbagh - 310 meters above sea-level Mr VILLA Cabernet Sauvignon: Tulbagh - 310 meters above sea-level BUT WHY?: Ceres Plateau - 734 meters above sea-level LEAVING THE TABLE: Ceres Plateau - 755 meters above sea-level We made them all separately and aged them all in French oak for one and a half years - picked mainly when we thought the grapes tasted best. Interestingly enough, the first vineyard on the Helderberg ripened in late February whereas the last vineyard in Ceres Plateau (about 3 hours drive from the first) reached optimum ripeness on 22 April - 100 days into harvest and also the very last grapes to hit the cellar." -Producer’s note

BLANKbottle Boberg 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"Moment of Silence predominantly comes from a farm in Wellington called Twyfeling. Boberg is situated on a farm right next to Twyfeling and literally looks onto the vineyards of Twyfeling. Now Twyfeling was owned by my direct family seven generations ago. So on the label it shows 7 generations with Boberg overlooking all seven generations of the Hauptfleisch family. 2015 was the first year that I bought the grapes from this Vineyard. The Farmer calls the vineyard BOBERG, which means “on top of the Mountain”. It was a neglected little vineyard, old bush vines with no irrigation. The farmer identified it as a site with potential and started with a restoration process. The vineyard grows in decomposed granitic soil in Wellington. The site is cooler than the others in the area. I used it in 2015 as a component in the Moment of Silence blend. In 2020 we picked early, the grapes were ripe but the sugar low and the palate fresh. The juice fermented spontaneously in a 1600L concrete egg shapes tank. The wine showed individuality and I decided to bottle this as a single vineyard wine within the BLANKBOTTLE portfolio." Producer's note

BLANKbottle But Why 2019

R280.00 inc. VAT
"I was concerned that ripening would be a challenge. My initial thoughts were that the wines would be green. What we did not realise at the time was that the site’s radiation levels (sunlight) were off-the-charts high and the average temperature is low during summer. The grapes could therefore stay on the vines much longer, absorbing massive amounts of sunlight, whilst growing in maturity and getting rid of greenness. Resulting in ripe grapes with lower sugar levels. Sandy soils are also famous for producing more elegant wines."- Producer's note

BLANKbottle Empire Strikes Back 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"Today I'm standing up to defend the EMPIRE - STELLENBOSCH. Silently, she’s been re-aligning her troops and now strikes back at the Swartland to establish herself yet again as a formidable force. The Empire Strikes Back 2018 - An all-STELLENBOSCH white blend of Verdelho from 2 different sites, Roussanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Viognier. Just for the record - I am a huge fan of Swartland white blends. The image of South African wines has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and the Swartland played a huge part in this. Their wines, especially the Rhône-style white blends are top notch. They are fun, young, energetic and unique and started to gain international fame. Stellenbosch, however (where I studied winemaking), is the original EMPIRE of South African wine. Like most of us, I like to support the underdog, and in the case of white blends, the Empire became exactly that. So I created a white blend based on similar varieties - a combination that could give some of the Swartland white blends a go. The empire is therefore now striking back at the Swartland. The label consists of two sections. On the left part of the label you will see a half star, which was the logo for the "Swartland Revolution". And on the right - stripes that represent a traditional and conservative EMPIRE." - Producer's note

BLANKbottle Epileptic Inspiration 2019

R280.00 inc. VAT
"1/3 Elgin Semillon that fermented and aged in French Oak for one and 1/2 years. 1/3 Elgin Semillon that fermented and aged in 330 liter clay amphora. 1/3 Baardseerdersbos Semillon, that fermented and aged in 330 liter clay amphora. I am not a fan of greener wines and therefore concentrate on picking the grapes when it is fully developed, which results in a riper-style Semillon. The story of Epileptic Inspiration: "Epileptic Inspiration 2013? You have no respect!", a Swiss guy told me on a recent trip to Zurich. Since the beginning of BLANKbottle, I have been designing my own labels. At first, it was because there was absolutely no way I could afford designers. I made use of Microsoft Word, typed BLANKbottle, placed it into a block and played around with the colours - no designing skills required at all. And, to be honest, for the first 10 years I actually didn't like my labels much (besides maybe the honesty of it). Every year, I would again have to fight off the desire to employ professional label designers. For those of you who don't know this: I started having Epilepsy at the age of 30. Then in November 2013, whilst not on medication, I had another huge epileptic fit (the second one ever). So the Dr booked me off driving and surfing, yet again. When I have a fit, what happens to me at first is that I forget everything. My long term memory returns quite soon thereafter (within hours), but I find that my short term analytical memory takes about 2-3 months to return - if at all... And this is how I started to design my new labels for the 2013 wines. I could not look at the computer due to the flickering screen. So I started making use of scissors, paint, Lino, pencil and old paper. And the result: I think I had a breakthrough in design, inspiration of Epileptic proportions. So the drawing and design of my own labels came as a direct result of my epilepsy. And here’s the strange part which I cannot prove - I believe that something in my brain changed due to epilepsy. Before epilepsy I had no skill or desire to draw paint etc. Now I still don’t have the skill, but at least I like my labels! All 47 of the ones coming your way in 2019." - Producer's note

BLANKbottle Im Hinterhofkabuff 2018

R375.00 inc. VAT
"The Im Hinterhofkabuff vineyard is small and is planted in pure yellow sandstone rock, vines trellised onto single poles - like they do in the Mosel, Germany. There is no irrigation and the slope is steep. It is exposed to the rough and gusty South-easter wind blowing straight from Hermanus. It is a cold and rugged site which produce very little grapes - some years resulting in only one barrel. The 2018 vintage produced two barrels. It is 100% Weisser Riesling, spontaneously fermented in old, small French Oak barrels. It is a concentrated riper style of Weisser Riesling. It has a firm acidity and mineral within the rich style. It will age beautifully (the current 2012 drinking beautifully at the moment). My aim is not to imitate German-style Rieslings - we try to capture the South African sunlight in this wine" - Producer Note

BLANKbottle Jimmy 2018

R250.00 inc. VAT
"A couple of decades ago a guy called Polla Brand drove the first Suzuki Jimny into South Africa from Namibia. The car ended up with a family member on a farm in the Voor Paardeberg. Come winter, the other vehicles struggled in the mud and slippery clay but the Suzuki, with its short wheelbase, cruised through really difficult terrain. Immediately gaining respect. From then on, the farmer, his son and his grandson (the current farmer) only drives Suzuki 4x4’s on the farm. The current farmer also happens to be the Western Cape champion, racing in the Dunes along the West Coast of South Africa - with his little hyped-up supercharged Suzuki - hence the inspiration for the label. Verdelho is a really interesting variety to farm with in South Africa. It loves heat and has this unique characteristic of maintaining high acid levels in really ripe conditions. This is a variety that you need to keep an eye on during harvest. It gains sugar at an immense rate with the challenge of picking it before it gets too ripe. Where most other wineries add tartaric acid, we prefer having a very early-picked Verdelho, at a low alcohol and a beyond-massive acid in the winery. We make use of this as a blending component to add acid and freshness. And this is the true power of Verdelho. But I felt that it was time to show the consumer the real personality of the varietal." - Producer Note

BLANKbottle Kortpad Kaaptoe 2020

R250.00 inc. VAT
This is the 5th vintage of the wine and the style moved a bit towards the elegant side of Maria Gomes. Spice-driven with fragrant finesse, but a strong potent core.

BLANKbottle Moment of Silence 2020

R205.00 inc. VAT
"Since it’s maiden vintage in 2007, this wine changed quite a lot. In 2007, it was a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Viognier - 3 vineyards. The 2020 vintage however, consists of 4 components - 2 Chenin blanc vineyards called Boberg and Draai-Draai as well as Grenache Blanc and Viognier. All from Wellington. -Boberg: This vineyard grows on top of the Groenberg mountain in Wellington in decomposed granite. It was a neglected bush vine Chenin blanc vineyard that was recently resurrected and now being converted into an organically farmed parcel. -Draai-Draai: This vineyard is a trellised vineyard in a little valley on the western slope of the Boberg. It is a great component and produces extracted, dense full-bodied wines. It grows in decomposed granite and in 2018 it was converted into an organically farmed block. These 2 Vineyards make up about 75% of the final blend. -The next 20% is made up of a younger, organically farmed, irrigated Grenache Blanc vineyard on the lower slopes of the Groenberg. In 2018, we started to experiment with different fermentation styles. Specifically with the Grenache we tried some skin fermented parcels and it turned out really good - the idea is to add some tannin and texture to the final blend. -And the last 5% of the wine is made up of a conventionally farmed Viognier Vineyard next to the Grenache. Most of the components were fermented in old French Oak barrels 225, 300, 400 and 500L. The Viognier in Amphore and the Boberg vineyard in a concrete egg shaped tank. Spontaneous fermentation with 1-year aged on the Lees. Moment of Silence is our largest production at present and we produced about 10 000 bottles."Producer's note

BLANKbottle My eie Stofpad 2017

R325.00 inc. VAT
A blend of Cabernet franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec from the Helderberg Stellenbosch.

BLANKbottle Nothing to Declare 2018

R280.00 inc. VAT
"They used various techniques, one of them being… tie it to your leg, drop your pants to cover it and walk through the NOTHING TO DECLARE section at the airport as if you have… NOTHING TO DECLARE - you know the feeling... Back in SA they would then reproduce and plant little vineyards, do trials on them and plant larger ones (to state the obvious: this was completely illegal, distributing diseases being the main risk). I, however, have seen first-hand that the type of farmer who went through all the effort to do this, is almost without fail completely passionate, super psyched-up, forward-thinking farmers/winemakers - serious producers. So they would, without a doubt, bring in clean, great quality vines. Nothing to Declare is a tribute to these vine smugglers. Providing us, the new generation winemakers, the foundation to take this industry to new heights. In 2012 and 2013 I made a wine that was driven by one of these illegally smuggled grape varieties. It was registered with the government as Chenin Blanc. I called it “Nothing to declare”. Since then this particular vineyard went through a process of amnesty and was now declared legal. So this wine grew from there, using that vineyard as a base and combining that with as many of the not so traditional South African varietals I have in the Winery. The 2016 ended up being 9 Varietals but in the 2018 we are down to 5 - fermented in old French Oak barrels aged for 1 year on the leese blended and bottled. The Label: I did a chalk drawing on the one side of one of the barrels - an image of vine cuttings tied to a man’s leg, about to be covered by his pants. After a few months, the image faded. To solidify the image, I engraved it into the wood like it was done in the olden days. So in February 2015, after bottling the first vintage, I needed a label. I bought printing ink and applied it to the surface of the carved image. I then placed a large piece of paper on it and made a print, which became the main image for the label." - Producer Note

BLANKbottle Offspring 2017

R205.00 inc. VAT
"The child of Dad Orbitofrontal Cortex and Mom Limbic (not the leftovers all thrown together - if I feel that a component doesn’t quite measure up, it gets demoted to a leftover tank which I sell as bulk wine). This OFFSPRING was thoughtfully blended - Riesling and Sémillon from Elgin, Chenin blanc from Wellington and Verdelho from the Voor Paardeberg." - Producer Note

BLANKbottle Oppie Koppie 2017

R310.01 inc. VAT
"It immediately triggered an idea: if I ferment the wine without removing the stems (a.k.a. whole bunch fermentation), chances were that I could possibly extract some of that exciting spice. So I chucked 33.33333% of the total volume of grapes into a fermentation vessel (stems and all) and crushed it with my feet. With the balance of the grapes, I removed the stems using a de-stemmer and filled the tank. All the grapes then underwent spontaneous fermentation. After 4 weeks, I pressed the grapes and the wine aged in barrel for a year. When the time came for label design, I did a pencil drawing of an old-fashioned film camera taking a photo of a grape-stem. I blackened the camera lens in such a way that only one third of the stem was exposed to the camera. I then called the wine 33.3333. In 2015, the stems were super ripe and I decided to do 100% whole bunch fermentation. On the label I altered the sketch in order for the camera lens to have a 100% exposure to the stem. 2016, the stems were ripe, but not as ripe as the 2015 vintage, so I went for 70% exposure. When it came to the 2017 vintage I decided that, in order for this wine to get to the next level, it needed more complexity. The only way to gain complexity is to add vineyards with flavour profiles that would enhance and add layers to the original wine. A little bit of Shiraz from the Swartland and a tad Cinsaut from the Breedekloof did the trick. Having had 80% whole cluster fermentation, I initially called the wine 80.0000 (referring to the percentage exposure to stems as in previous years), but this was confusing to my clients. I then changed the name to Oppie-Koppie, the name the farmer calls the vineyard - a 2017 Voor-Paardeberg Shiraz (my 4th vintage from this block of grapes). Northern Rhône-like in style, super spicy with nice grip. Ageing will only do this wine great but you can also drink it now." - Producer Note

BLANKbottle Orbitofrontal Cortex 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"In October 2015 I was sitting on a plane heading to Joburg, next to a guy who was (or so it seemed) plugged into his computer with wires and stuff. It looked like he was communicating with the machine in a way. Once we had landed I asked him what on earth he was doing. He told me that he and his clinical psychologist business partner had started a marketing company called Neural Sense, based in Cape Town. They conduct market research by tapping into people's subconscious reactions to various inputs. I love weird things, so I told him I make wine and if ever he wanted to do something with wine he was welcome to get in contact. And he did. Three months later I was sitting at the table in my winery hooked onto machines. All my subconscious reactions (in the LIMBIC part of my brain) to each of the 21 components were to be measured and recorded - a camera looking me in the eyes (for eye reactions), a thing on my finger (for blood oxygen levels), a heart rate monitor on my chest, something on my arm (for arousal levels e.g. heat/sweat) and a mobile EEG device on my head (for monitoring my brain waves). It was the time of year where I had to make up final blends and I was sitting with 21 different white wine components in barrel, which were ready for blending and bottling. They were all different varietals from different areas and vineyards. So my assistant winemaker, Julia, took samples from all the barrels and put them into glasses, which my wife marked from 1 to 21. For each wine I would first close my eyes, then open them and they would start recording with the camera, hand me any wine and prompt me to nose, taste and spit - constantly monitoring and recording my heart rate, blood stuff and activity in my subconscious. Of course I can’t control my subconscious - before I think of reacting, I already had. We tasted through all 21 wines. I obviously spat, washed my mouth with water in between and we even did a few with clean water in my mouth and used that as a control or base reaction. This process took a whole day. I like to call it work. Their job was now to analyse the data. The way I understand it is that they look at all the parts of my brain that reacted, compare it with all the other blood and heart monitors and then work out with mathematical algorithm what I liked and disliked. The analysis of the data took months, so in the meantime Julia and I decided to blend a control - the best possible white blend from the same 21 parcels - making use of our conscious mind; the ORBITOFRONTAL CORTEX. When the results came, the two wines were so different! We blended both and bottled the 2 wines. Please note - we are NOT trying to prove something with this experiment. We were just trying to have fun. And we did… So, LIMBIC 2015 - Wellington Chenin blanc, Darling Chenin blanc, Swartland Clairette blanche, Upper Hemel and Aarde Pinot Gris and Stellenbosch Viognier And ORBITO FRONTAL CORTEX 2015 - Piekenierskloof Grenache blanc, Swartland Clairette blanche, Swartland Fernão Pires, Elgin Semillon and Voor Paardeberg Verdelho. " - Producer's note

BLANKbottle Pseudonym 2020

R310.01 inc. VAT
"There are two farms in Darling who share the same entrance. I buy grapes from Framer 1. He is a really good farmer and many years ago realised that the only way to make his business work is to farm top-quality grapes. He therefore removed all inferior high-production vineyards and was left with only old Bush vines with potential. He then sourced buyers from top wineries - guys and girls who could afford paying much more for his grapes and compensate him for the extra care given to these Old vines. Over the years he therefore created a niche market for himself. His neighbour however (Farmer 2), farms for the big co-operative winery who doesn't pay as well as the smaller wineries. So, each time a branded vehicle entered their shared entrance, Farmer 2 made a note of the name of the winery who buys from his neighbour. He would then get into contact with the winery and try and sell them grapes as well. I don't have any branding on my vehicle though, so he couldn't track me down. One day, however, he phoned Farmer 1 and complained about the speed I was driving, obviously wanting to find out who I was. Farmer 1’s reply? “Oh, you mean the jam(preserve) maker from The Strand? He’s the one who buys all my left-over grapes once I’ve sold all my top stuff. He then pays me double what the others are paying and makes jam in The Strand (my home town).” I’m sure this kept Farmer 2 busy for a while. My pseudonym: “Die konfytkoker van die Strand”, meaning “The jam maker from the Strand”. Pseudonym is made from a small 68-year old little vineyard. It grows in a little valley into the mountain in Darling. Seeing that it is the only food source around, the birds eat the grapes every year. The farmer could never use the valley for something else, so he kept the vineyard. When the grapes eventually ripened, there wouldn’t be much left to harvest. He would then pick the bits and throw it with the other grapes from the farm headed for the big co-operative winery. This was what had happened for 64 years. I asked him if we could cover the whole vineyard with bird nets, I bought the nets and he gave the labour. It was at the age of 65 when, for the first time, a wine was made exclusively from that little vineyard. I make two wines from it. Retirement@65 - a blend of the little block of Cinsaut and 25% Shiraz as well as Pseudonym which is 100% the Old vineyard Cinsaut. "Producer's note

BLANKbottle Rabbitsfoot 2019

R280.00 inc. VAT
"The vines grow very high on the Helderberg mountain in Stellenbosch. The owner of the vineyard makes a natural, sweet wine from it and has a very specific way of doing this. It boils down to him pinching the stems of the bunches in order for the grapes to dry while hanging on the vine. In this process, the berries lose water and flavour, acid and sugar concentrate. They then harvest the raisiny berries and end up with a natural sweet white wine. Unfortunately, though, it seems that not only humans have a sweet tooth. The baboons love the sweet berries and come down from the mountain and feast on the top part of the vineyard. The farmer therefore had a problem. He needed a buffer between his precious sweet stuff and the mountain baboons and decided to give me the top part of this awesome vineyard (on the flat top section). I pick this early in the season, leaving no berries on the vines. This fools the baboons into thinking that there are no grapes left on the bottom part of the vines either. This strategy worked well for a couple of years but started to change in 2019. The baboons realised what we were doing and broke through the buffer zone to strike the bottom section of the vineyard - making the 2019 most likely the last vintage, with a total of 900 bottles produced. Rabbitsfoot does not taste like traditional Sauvignon blanc at all. It is ripe, barrel-fermented and aged. An awesome, very different expression of South African Sauvignon Blanc. The label is a combination of Linocuts, and hand-drawings showing an a-symmetrical shape that is very close to my heart. Sort of similar to the a-symmetrical wine in the bottle. It tastes the complete opposite of what one might expect." Producer's note