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“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
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