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Rikus Neethling

Wine and Wildlife

After all the travelling this year I had the privileged to spend with my family. After celebrating my grandma’s 100th birthday, we were in the Kruger National Park last week for a few days after. This gave me the perfect chance to educate our 8 year (almost 9 year) old twin boys about wildlife and wines.

When I started out in 2008, there was a company called “Let’s sell Lobster”, today its Lobster Inc. They started a program to educate staff in the hospitality industry about wine, using animals. Example, although I might be wrong as I haven’t seen the program. Cabernet Sauvignon would be linked to an elephant. Cabernet Sauvignon is a big wine with some tannins on the back bone. Elephant big, thick skin and ages well, for me that’s the same as a good old Cab! Perfect place to do some comparisons.

The best description I got from the boys is comparing a Semillon with a “bloukopkoggelmander”. As the koggelmander change colour the same as Semillon that can be made in different styles, light, elegant, oxidative, and serious. Well done Retief for finding a name for Bizoe Morningstar Semillon and Bizoe Robertsvleipad Semillon.

After a good break there, its amazing time to be back in the vineyards. The vines are starting shoot leaves. Making the right decisions now determine the quality of your grapes in 2023. 

We have started with the first suckering in the vineyards. What does that mean? In simple terms we are allocating 2 to 3 shoots per spur, making sure the shoots carry the optimal amount of grapes during the growing season. 

I am looking forwards spending the next few weeks in the vineyards and getting the cellar ready for vintage 2023.

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