Blog : wine

Cinsaut Evening with Clico Hotel

Cinsaut Evening with Clico Hotel

Wine Menu, one of Johannesburg’s leading boutique wine outlets has created a hunger for exploring different varieties following their successful wine tasting festivals this year which included a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir event held earlier this year and The Unusuals Festival which was held in August.

For the month of November, Wine Menu’s Corlien Morris has chosen to focus on Cinsaut, in order to give interested customers the opportunity to not only taste this varietal, but also to meet three of South Africa’s esteemed  winemakers to discuss, explore and answer questions and we all know how much I love asking ALL the questions.

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What is my day job?

What is my day job?

If you read the first few sentences on my home page you will know that I work in the wine industry. I have never been too clear about what it is (exactly) what I do, for good reason. This space and site are so far removed from my day job that it feels a little weird when they cross paths.

Even my mum isn’t sure what I do for a living. Actually, most of my closest friends don’t quite know either. (Except the one mate who I bombarded with constant voice notes about my daily issues) What do I do for a living?

Well, everything. (I don’t mean this in a big-headed way, but I don’t quite know how else to explain it.)

My title is Estate Operations Manager.

The farm I work for is new, so new in fact that we are currently building the tasting facilities. They have been producing wines since 2011 and have been solely exporting to Germany. The estate is German owned. By the best couple, my two employers.

Where do I fit in? 

I run everything. I do not say “everything” to sound important or entitled but simply to help you understand. I work closely with the winemaker to ensure he has everything he needs in the cellar. He tells me what and when he needs things and I make it happen. Apart from the actual making of the product (of which I have HUGE respect for.) I do everything else. The minute there is a cork in the bottle it is my responsibility to move and manage is. Whether it’s on containers to Europe or for the local market.

I work with my boss (who is an amazing designer) to finalise the labels and trademarking. I write the blurbs on the back of the wines and manage the regulations required for each label. The regulations and red tape for export (and soon import) are mine too.

As with any job, there is a butt load of admin that goes along with it. I also take control over the (soon to be launched website) and write the copy for all media.

There is more but this post is getting a tad long to just talk about my day job. I love what I do. I am so incredibly fortunate to be able to say that. I love and respect the product, the people, the settings and even all the headaches that go along with it.

Most importantly, my work makes me happy. Sure some days I want to give up and run away but who doesn’t. I cannot imagine working in any other industry. My heart belongs to wine.

I hope this clears up a few things for everyone who have been asking lately. (mostly my family who still thinks I rep for an estate)

Bein Wine Cellar – #SecretStellies

If you take the M12 between Kuilsriver and Stellenbosch, turn off onto the Old Polkadraai road. The one that runs past the Polkadraai Strawberry farm. Drive around the damn and pass the entrance to Beau Joubert and La Provence. Follow the road and you will find yourself in front of a tiny cream-coloured building the words “Bein” mounted on the wall.

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This 2.2Hectar gem is one of Stellenbosch’s best kept secrets. Mind blowing Merlot with an epic story.

Ingrid and Luca Bein are Swiss veterinarians who left it all behind and came to SA to study wine making (and did) and now they make their own amazing merlot. This tiny 2.2H farm boasts only merlot vines. Since they make only one varietal they aim to make only exquisite wines and oh boy, do they hit the mark.

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Being animal lovers they have saved many a stray and made a home for them on the farm.  Some of these animals include two gorgeous donkeys. Yes, donkeys. Saved from townships they are now very much at home on the property. They Beins do something really special with these donkeys. They pack up a pick nick on their backs and walk them up through the vineyards to the top of the hill and have a pick nick with their guests. Yes, its as divine as it sounds.

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Add Bein to your list of must see Stellenbosch secrets.

Fabulous merlot, donkey walks and a unrivaled view.

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Tasted Vilafonte.

Tasted Vilafonte.

Vilafonté

 

Twitter tasting  22 October ’14

 

Wines tasted: Series M & Series C

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Vilafonté is a joint venture between the US and SA headed up by Mike Ratcliffe from Warwick Estate.  The tiny estate takes its name from the soil type on the property.

This was my 5th twitter tasting with the Incogvino group. (Want in on the fun? Sign up here) This tasting hosted by Mike and his team was the first one to incorporate a live stream of the team on the farm. You can watch it here.

So what did I think?

Series  M –  17% Cab, 48% Merlot, 35% Malbec

Price R425 per bottle.

It tastes like eating ripe red cherries on a hot day.

It smells like falling face first into a rose garden.

It looks like a prom dress on the floor.

She has got the potential but has a bit of work to do before she can win that academy award.

The merlot is very dominant, but has a slightly softer taste. Paso Robles comes to mind. I don’t know if it’s the grapes or the style it was made in but it tastes like a Californian to me.

It gets 2 stickers.

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(Sadly I have to admit, its worth the high price tag)


 

Series C – 51% Cab, 26%Merlot, 14%Malbec,9% Cab Franc

Price R500 per bottle

It tastes like a dinner with an old friend.

It smells like success .

It looks like hacked naked pictures of Jenifer Lawrence.

You can taste the step up in quality here. Maybe it’s that little bit of cab franc that does the trick. It has that something that lingers in your mouth forcing you to take another sip. And another.

I have a suspicion that if you put this baby away for a few years, it will be an epic superhero.

It gets 2 stickers.

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The only thing stopping it from getting that 3rd coveted sticker, is the price. I fully understand the reasoning behind it, but as consumer (and a broke one at that) I cannot bring myself to pay for 6 of those bottles. That said, there are many people who would happily buy 12. Just not me

 

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Updates and things

My lack of posts these past few weeks have been due to the craziest year (well actually the whole year) ever. I have never blogged on a schedule per se (God knows I have tried) but what I have been doing has always seemed to work for me so why bother right?

Here are a few updates of what’s been happening in different aspects of greenlydia’s life.

(Please excuse the lack of visual aids for this post, It was written rather quickly)

Work

I have been travelling quite a bit for work which I totally love but travelling comes at a price.

  • My home office is so messy I could hide a dead body or two in here.
  • I haven’t had the time to write all the things I want to.
  • I am far too familiar with airport staff.
  • I miss my dude.
  • I Miss my cat.
  • My cupboard needs cleaning. Suitcase – wash – cupboard – repeat can get a little disorganized.

But I have really been enjoying being all over. I am so lucky to have a job that I love even when I hate it.

Last month our Office Manager left us after almost 2 years. (All the sadness) but we are very happy for her going on to do something that will make her truly happy. Replacing her has been a nightmare. Since when do people send CV’s in WORD documents?? I mean really now. We have managed to narrow down the search and I hope to have someone back in that office pretty soon.

Wedding

It’s a little less than 4 months to go before Oscar and I say “I do”. Thus far it has been a lot of fun planning things. All of the big things have been taken care of. The church, venue, food, music, photographer. Now just the fun details left. This is my favourite part. All the things that will make this day pretty and memorable for us and our guests.

Oh I don’t have a wedding dress yet. This is a bit tricky as I don’t like the fuss of having one made, but finding one to buy or hire that doesn’t look like confectionary is a tough task.

I would LOVE it if anyone could drop me a line of someone/store where I can buy one with minimal effort. (Guys, I really dread the whole dress thing.)

Projects

Well as most of the regular readers would know, I started #ProjectPoetry and roped in 3 other writers to join. Simple concept, I write something and highlight one line. Next writer opens with said line and so forth. These ladies have been SO GREAT at this we decided to switch it up and carry on for one more month. I will be posting me next one pretty soon.

Have a read here for the others.

#LikeLife 2? Yup it’s true. Cupcakemummy and I are teaming up once again to write a sequel to our first Novella. The response to book 1 was greater than either of us could have ever imagined and I am SO excited to share what happens next. Keep an eye out for the hash tag.

Wine

A few posts back I wrote about my own take on a wine rating system and I have been putting some real work into this. I am so excited to start putting some fun back into wine and sharing it here.

The first wine will be up this week followed by a feature on the RMBWinex that I will be visiting this year.

Wino’s stay tuned.

(Maybe some wine giveaways in the near future too)

 

That’s all I can share with you right now.

So many things happening.

So many things to write about.

So many things to be happy about.

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Wine.

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Eight years. That’s how long I have been working with wine. In these eight years I have tasted through my education and I can confidently say I have identified what I enjoy and what I don’t. But all old dogs can learn new tricks and I continue my education as often as I can. One day a Pinotage might surprise me, you never know.

In my opinion there are 3 groups of wine-lovers.

The older-established-technical crowd (Crowd one)

The WHOOOOOHHHH-light-wines-and-rose-only crowd (Crowd two)

The I-like-it-and-would-like-to-learn-more-but-pink-drinkers-annoy-me-and-old-drinkers-scare-me crowd.  (Crowd three)

I still fall in the third category. After eight years, that is still where I would place myself. Because drinking is learning, you know.

Because I work in wine, I follow some of the mainstream industry news usually shared by crowd one. I read the very technical reviews and the snooty comments because big name A doesn’t like big name B and he or she was left or removed from tasting panel X or Y.

There have been a few wine-bloggers whose sole purpose was rating and scoring wines on a relatable basis. The Reasonable-Man test of wines if you will. Sadly most of these writers have over the years gravitated closer and closer towards the vortex of crowd one. I do not blame them, I imagine myself to become a part of Crowd one, when I am closer to 50.

I am no-one in the wine world. I am this girl who works for that farm people have trouble spelling.(They should learn to spell it, it’s an awesome farm) This little blog of mine is a general space, not dedicated to just one topic so I see no reason why I can’t add my own little wine reviews.

Why can’t I ask good questions about wine while paring it with a movie, a song, and a book or body part? I STRIVE to make wine approachable, fun and interesting. And for the first time, I will be sharing my twisted, dirty (but witty) thoughts on some of what SA has to offer.

I have no pretence and will be rating pretty much everything I can get my hands on. I will try my very best to add price points, link a store and spam you with pictures.

Do I have  scale? No. I won’t be using a point system (1-5 or 1-20) I will however be handing out little GL (digital) stamps. It’s the simplest system I can think of.

1 stamp means I will drink it gladly when offered to me.

2 stamps mean I WILL buy more of this.

3 stamps – do you accept first-borns as payment for a lifetime supply?

No stamps – Nee fok, sies man. 

I have a few wines that will be featuring next week. Stay tuned and please don’t take wine so seriously. I am solely reliant on wine for a salary and even I stop to smell the rosé once in a while.

 

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Lets write something.

I roped in 3 writers to join me in reviving poetry. I read poetry. Mostly after a glass of wine. After 3 more I try my hand at it but I have never published any of it. It has always just sat in my drafts. But I figure If we do it together it wont be so scary. Its just a bunch of words after all.

 

So here’s the plan. 4 pieces a week. I will highlight one random sentence in my poem and that will become the first line of the next persons poem and so forth.

Its not planned or pre-written. (This one was just the latest one in my drafts so it got picked to start)  We will be running #ProjectPoetry for one month.

Flat White Concepts is next up.

 

(I will add links once she has published but head on over to her cyber spot and keep an eye out.)

 

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She heard the music. It moved her.

She tasted the wine. It soothed her.

She felt it. She felt everything she refused to feel for such a long time.

She felt it.

Warm cheeks.

Crimson wine.

Scarlet lips.

She longed for the smell of the ocean. The salt was heightened in the wine as she heard the waves crashing. Without her.

She missed the dunes and the midnight swims. Fully clothed. Naked. Breathing in the sea air. Feeling the beat of the heart.

She had the love but lost the lust.

For life.

The fire.

The heat.

She needed it to burn. To make her want more.

Want all of it.

Purple wine.

Make it seem lighter. Lighter.

Lift me up

Lift me.

Lift.

 

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Little bits of London

Hello honies.

I haven’t published anything a while because typing and train hopping doesn’t work well together. 

I have so many stories to share. From tales about the Zulu king to a surreal moment with boy named Luca from Italy, an attorney from Pretoria and lady named Charmain from Los Angeles. 

Click the Instagram link to the left and follow some of my quick little trips pictures.

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