Updated: May 8
Harvest time has its own rhythm, it's full of excitement and intense work, with long hours in the vineyards and winery to make sure no detail has been overlooked. This is the only chance to create - we have only one try for each vintage. Under a watchful eye, each block is carefully observed and evaluated to ensure that only the best quality fruit is used in the pursuit of perfection.
There are days when you are constantly in overdrive. The pace is fast and intense. The truth is that these can be tough months, as we rise before dawn to train and spend most evenings behind the computer catching up on the daily organizational duties after an eventful day of winemaking.
Each tank is checked at least twice a day, just as a doctor makes rounds. Instead of patients, each tank is examined to measure the progress of fermentation, temperature, colour extraction, and tannins.
On the weekends, the pace slows a bit to make room for quality time with our new additions. We order pizza and bring the dogs to the winery, and if we are lucky, we sit on the back of the Cruiser at the farm's dam in the company of Agaat John David and Chris Isaak singing that the world is on fire as the sun sets over our beloved town.
We are intentional about these moments.
Whether it's sitting on our stoep with a fire crackling. A good meal or a beautiful glass of wine at our favourite restaurant Noop in Paarl. We pause for a moment to breathe. It's one of the greatest privileges we have as humans, and we should cherish every second.
Cape Blend John David from the Agaat range embodies these moments of pausing and enjoying the moment. It is a wine made from four grape varieties, mainly Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and a little Petit Verdot. We take our time to blend these grape varieties, we carefully select each barrel after aging, then the blending begins. We engage our senses for a few hours, making blend after blend, mostly in our kitchen, as we enjoy the relaxed space of our home. Then we make small samples of all kinds of blends and look at them again the next day. This process takes time, and sometimes we have to start over if we are not happy with our first attempt. But we love it, it forces us to slow down and trust our tastes, it reminds us of the dreams we had during the harvest for these grapes that are now long forgotten, and we emerge excited from a truly creative experience.
Moments are more important than material goods. Experiences - good or bad, easy or difficult, beautiful or unpleasant - have made us the people we are today.
Do yourself a favour and occasionally slow down your daily routine, no matter how crazy it may be. Take pleasure in the little things and find joy in something. We can change the world when our hearts are full and our minds are clear. Take care of yourself and what brings you joy. Be who you are. Enjoy the moments in the here and now. Laugh a lot. Pop the cork or crack the screw cap, the sip, the swirl in the glass, the smell, the taste, and capture your own wine moment. Create meaningful memories.
Life goes by so quickly. What do you see in this moment? What do you smell? What do you taste?
Take a moment. Because when we stop and look around, this life is amazing.
Till next time.