Flagstone : Trust Your Taste


Chief Winemaker Bruce Jack

Bruce Jack

A Capetonian whose curiosity and palate has taken him the length and breadth of the globe. Bruce completed his undergrad in Political Science and Literature at UCT and then read his Masters in Literature at St Andrew’s in Scotland. His subsequent winemaking degree came from the Roseworthy Campus at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Bruce is a pioneer, and in many respects a maverick, and what he brings to winemaking is an articulate opinion about his greatest passion.

Food Alchemist & Kitchen Cowboy Peter Goffe-Wood

Peter Goffe-Wood

Peter is on the judging panel for the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, as well as the Diners Club Wine list of the year. Born in London, he trained in South Africa and returned to work with some of Britain's top chefs in several award-winning London restaurants.

Back in South Africa, he helped to open the La Couronne Hotel & Winery (now Mont Rochelle) in Franschhoek. Conde Nast Traveller named it as one of the fifty most exciting restaurants in the world.

Peter has worked to develop some of the Cape’s best and busiest restaurants, including Blues, 95 Keerom Str, Balducci’s & Salt. GQ magazine took him on as food editor for eight years and he is a regular contributor to Men’s Health. Peter is author of Kitchen Cowboys and Blues Restaurant – the essence of Cape Town.

He featured alongside Ainsley Harriot on BBC Food’s Off the Menu and now appears as a judge on MasterChef SA.

Editor Andrew Arnott

Andrew Arnott

Andrew studied Literature and Sociology at UCT before setting off on a global trek that saw him working under the seas of the Caribbean, on the snow covered slopes of the Canadian Rockies and writing for a variety of financial and travel institutions. Now at home in Cape Town, Andrew’s passions for wine and writing are married on this blog.

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Flagstone Harvest 2016

The 2016 vintage started with a bang! We crushed over 30% of our grapes in the first two weeks. We are currently sitting over 70% of after five weeks.

This was driven by two factors, the extreme heat visited on the vineyards in January and one of the worst droughts we've experienced in recent years.

Most of the vineyards ripened a week earlier than what we are accustomed to, seeing huge volumes of grapes arrive at the winery from day one, led by our Chenin Blanc from Wellington. 

2016 Flagstone Harvest2016 Flagstone Harvest
First to grapes of the #2016Harvest - Chenin Blanc

This year we are crushing much more Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay tonnage for our new wines that will be launched in the third quarter this year. We have a Chenin Blanc is called Tributary that is made from 100% bush vine Chenin and a Chardonnay called Two Roads, this is a combination of fruit from Wellington, Helderberg, Elgin and Elim. We are also launching our Poetry Chardonnay in August. 

Flagstone Wines Chardonnay Flagstone Wines Harvest 2016
Winemakers Gerhard Swart & Karen Bruwer tasting the Chardonnay grapes and the fermenting Chenin Blanc °B measurement. Beautiful guava and peach.

The Chardonnay is looking fantastic, we have such great diversity from these regions to give us a unique character and a great building block. 

Flagstone winery Yeast for Flagstone Chardonnay
Chenin Blanc from Paarl, all hands on deck to sort it while Chardonnay gets its yeast

The first tanks of Pinotage and Shiraz have finished fermentation and the wines have a intense red berry fruit flavour. This is very promising for the rest of our reds.

Flagstone Shiraz Flagstone Shiraz
Yeast rehydration for Shiraz

With March came the first tendrils of the new season with longer and cooler nights. Weary bodies tend to notice these subtleties quickly. Driving out to Writers Block in the Breede Kloof and tasting in the vineyard at 7am is now an exercise best conduct with a jacket as the temperature is only 14C that high up on the Mountain. These cool nights are very promising for the remaining red grapes that need to be harvested, these low temperatures are excellent for colour development.

Shiraz making itself felt while outside Sauvignon Blanc from Elgin gets crushed

We're very excited about this years harvest and we have high expectations for the 2016 vintage. Last stretch now, the winery is looking forward to some well earned down-time.

Gerhard Swart Flagstone Winemaker 
Winemaker Gerhard Swart tasting and blending Poetry Merlot. "Sip Happens, It's Ok To Wine"

Sorting Writers Block Pinotage and morning tank tastings

Also in this series of posts…

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