Flagstone : Trust Your Taste

Contributors

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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The 2017 Harvest Promises Big Bold Wines from Flagstone

Although no two harvests are alike and each year is memorable for different reasons, the 2017 harvest pulled our winery from pillar to post and it is with sweaty brows and tired hands that we conclude this year’s harvest.

2016 continued the drought cycle experienced in 2015, a late and short winter brought 40% less rainfall than long-term rainfall figures expected. We then had a very dry spring with cooler temperatures and although growth was moderate, the vines appeared to be in good health.

The 2016/2017 summer exhibited typical weather, with a few blisteringly hot days and cooler nights. The hot, dry weather gifted us wonderfully balanced vineyards and low disease pressure meant our vineyards required less chemical input.

A distressing hallmark of this past season is the plethora of devastating fires that have wreaked havoc on so many vineyards in the Western Cape. We were very fortunate to have avoided any fire and smoke damage to our vineyards.

The 2017 vintage began on the 20th of January, picking some dry land bush vine Pinotage destined for Dragon Tree and Truth Tree Pinotage. Some dry-land bush vine Chenin Blanc followed this for Tributary Chenin Blanc on the 26th of January.

The last week of January brought 20-40mm of rain, sadly we’ve seen almost nothing since then. The rainfall put a hold on ripening for the next week and then the floodwalls broke. We took in 60% of our harvest over a 3 week period; this same volume usually arrives over a 5 week period. Flagstone’s team never ceases to amaze and thanks to a herculean effort this triple volume influx was managed exceptionally well and we made some stunning wines.

The last delivery of the season was the Cabernet Sauvignon destined for the single varietal Music Room and Dragon Tree blend.  A full red wine cellar fermenting Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mouvedre and Malbec is keeping us busy and looking at the post fermentation wines the current standing outs are the Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Shiraz.

Overall the 2017 vintage looks to be a good harvest, certainly above average in quality with a crop of very healthy, small berry grapes destined to produce big bold wines. We’re excited to watch the hard work pay off.



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