With everyone now thoroughly Swartlanded out, it’s refreshing to note that thick and soupy is not the only style of Shiraz in SA. Alsatian winemaker Julien Schaal and elegantly Elgin’s Paul Cluver showed their new 2010 cool climate Syrah at Bizerca Bistro last night, a Fleur du Cap Top Ten restaurant for Cape Town. 13.4% alcohol, made from a 15 year old vineyard that used to deliver fruit to the Villiersdorp Co-op, the wine bravely charts a new direction for the sexy grape. And at a planned R120 a bottle, it is sure to sell out in record time.
What to call the wine? Cluver Schaal sounds like a preppie American in a Tom Wolfe novel. Schaal Cluver sounds like a professor of oenology at the University of Stellenbosch. Or maybe the head of the SA wine institute that the manne are planning at the minute. JP (Julien&Paul) would ensure a good rating from JP Rossouw while PJ – piepie joller - would appeal to a younger set. So many possibilities!
Hallo Neil. What is the “SA Wine Institute” you mention above?
High level discussions are underway to replace WOSA with a more effective and responsive organization.
One of the proposals is the establishment of a Wine Institute linked to the University of Stellenbosch, along the lines of the Robert Mondavi Wine Institute at UC Davis in California.
Perhaps Professor Sakkie Pretorius, MD of the Australian Wine Research Institute, can be persuaded to return and save SA wine from the serial fiasco’s of the current situation.
Neil, Halleluja! I sincerely hope something will come of it.
You know I just completed my winemaking degree at Elsenburg and our final year was excellent, thanks to “Professor” Bertus Fourie. But training at Elsenburg and Stellenbosch University needs a look into. I would like to see the winemaking courses at Elsenburg and Stellenbosch put together into a single course offering a three-year option (B.Agric) and a four-year option (BSc) for those who want to carry on doing research rather than getting their hands dirty in a winery. The vineyards are available (40 ha at Elsenburg), the training cellars are excellent (Elsenburg spend over R3 mil this year on its cellar), but the only thing lacking is probably something like a SA Wine Institute to set standards and oversee training. We need less, but better quality students becoming winemakers. Let’s hope.
Good point Riaan. Combining efforts makes sense and setting internationally recognized standards even more. Now we just need an accredited, relevant, wine business sales and marketing training course.