Harvest Diaries – Chardonnay 2016

Harvest Diaries – Chardonnay 2016

This cultivar was originally found in Burgundy in the eastern part of France and smuggled to South Africa in the 1970’s. This green skinned grape boasts tropical, butter and honey flavours in the medium climate of South Africa. Marklew Family Vineyards situated in The Simonsberg ward on the R44 has an ideal terroir (soil, climate and slope) for Chardonnay. Chardonnay in South Africa is usually ready to harvest at the beginning to mid February. This year was no exception even though we experienced an extremely hot period around Christmas time which spikes the sugar levels inside the grapes faster than the acids. At harvest we picked the grapes at a 24.5 Balling (natural sugar level inside the grape), pH of 3.5 and with a natural acidity of 5.8. The pressed grape juice was then moved into stainless steel tanks where fermentation (the change from sugar to alcohol thanks to natural and added yeast) took place. The juice was inoculated with Laffort VL 2 yeast and supplemented with Thiazote (an organic nutrient found inside the grape) which ensures the fermentation runs smoothly and with no risk of a stuck fermentation. The fermentation period lasted for 10 days. The newly fermented grape juice was then moved into barrel where maturation and malolactic fermentation (a second fermentation where the harder malic acid changes into a softer lactic acid) took place. During malolactic fermentation we used an airlock bung whereby no oxygen could enter the barrel (which is the main cause of wine spoilage) but carbon dioxide (the by product in wine making) can escape through a bubbling effect out the top of...
It starts… Health & Fitness

It starts… Health & Fitness

Another large chunk of my life, and something that I do everyday, is work towards and maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. I do this through healthy eating, training and other activities such as surfing, trail running, yoga, rock climbing, etc. I’ve always been interested in sports and did as many activities as I could until life started getting busy and I become a fully-fledged adult (more responsibilities and less activities). This hasn’t ever changed and I’m now at a point where it is a part of my job to keep myself in shape. So no real massive life change as it has always been the case. Although there are times that a serious focus needs to be put on cutting or leaning out, campaign dependant of course. I take pride in my athletic ability, and physical appearance, as it is a controllable. You can workout, you can train, you can eat healthy and you can live a healthy lifestyle. You can be mindful about all things and actively work towards making them habitual. Over the coming weeks, I will be putting some focus on telling you how I go about keeping fit and all the things that I feel are important when it comes to feeling good. Whenever I think of health, fitness, training and nutrition I always think of the “Healthy Body, Health Mind” mantra and it is undoubtedly true. Think of a time when you weren’t feeling the greatest health wise, it most definitely had some sort of effect on your mind. It works the other way as well. If your mind isn’t right and focused...
Charity. And an Event.

Charity. And an Event.

Charity. Lending a helping hand to the less fortunate, supporting what we think is a good cause. These are obligatory actions of a fortunate man. If you happen to have a roof over your head, food in the fridge and any mode of transport that gets you from A to B, then you are indeed fortunate. If you take a look around South Africa you will learn that our unemployment rate is ranked 8th worst unemployment rate in the world (25%) and the majority of our population are in dire straits with no where or no one to turn to. Our government sure isn’t doing too much about it, but that’s a story for another day. Food is ridiculously expensive, medicine is unobtainable and hope is running thin. These are real issues and not just tear jerkers pushing us to make a R2 donation at KFC or to give a few silvers to our local traffic light guy. Topping a lengthy list of human issues is surely medical care. Sickness ravages our nation with people residing in some of the poorest living conditions on the planet. 3 weeks ago I received a phone call from my Aunt’s sister who is living in Port Elizabeth. I hadn’t spoken to her in about a year so it really was a pleasant surprise. She explained how they are really involved in the Northwood Children’s Hospice Charity in PE and are hosting the Investec Flora Banquet & Fashion Show at The Boardwalk Hotel. She begun to explain how she would like me to be involved in the charity dinner as they were going...