100% whole bunch fermented Fernao Pires a.k.a Maria Gomez PLEASE NOTE: There are 2 bottlings of Kortpad Kaaptoe!!! One with a gold label with white writing – the normal version and one with a gold label and black writing – the skinny whole bunch fermented spicy one.
In August 2011, on a farm somewhere between Darling and Hopefield on the West Coast of South Africa, I was visiting a block of grapes, Carignan. I received a SMS from someone who needed me to be in Cape Town within the next hour. Being in the middle of nowhere, I asked the farmer the quickest way to Cape Town. In Afrikaans (one of the 11 official languages of South Africa), the “Kortpad Kaaptoe”. He said that I needed to drive towards the Carignan, past the Shiraz and Fernao Pirez….
“The FERNAO WHAT???”, I asked him? “Fernao Pirez” he replied. Bush vines, unirrigated, planted by his grandfather 38 years before. So, on my shortest way to Cape Town (the “kortpad kaaptoe”), I found Fernao Pirez. A varietal I had never tasted wine of and something I never knew existed in South Africa. And that brings me to something so very important to me.
I love interesting, true stories. So if I find a story like this, a bit of family history stumbled upon on my shortest route to Cape Town, I want to tell that story, disguised as a bottle of wine. So it is not ONLY about the wine. In life everything needs to be seen in context. If you take things out of context, wine becomes one dimensional and boring in a way.
The label: Linocut of AC/DC inspired font. Printed on real organics paper with as much gold bling as possible. Labels are hand-applied with old-style wet glue technique. Please note that the label will slip off the bottle when it gets wet. The label is as natural as the wine inside the bottle.
It looks like a desert out there. The topsoil is 30cm of white sand with an iron rich subsoil we in South Africa call Koffieklip – literally translated it would mean coffee soil. It got its name from the little pebbles in the soil that look like coffee beans surrounded by a clay rich iron saturated soil.
The vineyard has no irrigation and it is over 40 years old with its roots deeply developed into the subsoil. For some reason the ground water level is high. I can only imagine that a shallow water vein runs through that specific section of the desert-like area, providing the deep roots a supply of water.
Cultivar: Fernao Pires
Amount of Bottles Produced: 682
Vineyard: Single old-vine, unirrigated bushvines in the Swartland flatlands. Sandy topsoil with “Koffieklip” subsoil 100 meter above sea-level.
Winemaking: The grapes were picked at different ripeness levels in 4 pickings and cooled overnight to 4 degrees celsius. The next morning the grapes were handled in different ways. Some fermented as whole clusters and some as de-stemmed on the skin fermentation. Fermented and aged in French oak (nothing new) and amphora. Deep winter the wine received sulfur, it’s only additive. 10 months on the leese, blended and bottled.
Alcoholic Strenght: 13% / vol
Acidity: 4.34 g/l
Reducing Sugar: 1.8 g/l
Free SO2: 33 ppm
Total SO2: 90 ppm
Volatile Acidity: 0.63 g/l