gumboots, grapes and pruning!

Well….. Wasn’t I just blown away when I received an invitation via Twitter a few weeks ago to attend a ‘Wine bloggers day’.  Aptly named ‘Gumboots and Grapes’. The  Beau Joubert winery in Stellenbosch invited Sophia Hawkins, Marketing & Wine Club Manager at Vilafonte Vineyards, and I to a day we will never forget. What great fun!

Cleverly orchestrated by Beau Joubert, Marketing Manager, Lydia Coetzee …..Bloggers would have to ‘sing for their supper’ by pruning vines, whilst also learning about the winery, get up close and personal with the vines and vineyard Manager, Ian Engelbrecht, wines and Winemaker, Christian Kuun and sample delicious food prepared by Marketing Assistant and Food blogger, Elzanne Cronje.

Driving through the gates, the history is rich and immediately evident.  The farm dated back to 1695 was recently purchased by a family from the US, Wisconsin who fell in love with the beauty and surroundings.  We could see why..


First up!…..Meet and greet with coffee and biscuits, we were handed a fabulous pruning manual, something no ‘rookie wino’ should ever be without! The road ahead steep and treacherous,  but we were excited to embark on our journey, armed with cutters,  broad smiles and Vineyard Manager, Ian Engelbrecht as our ‘Captain’ leading the way.   Ever passionate about his vines, Ian  taught us how to prune, the effects of pruning on the growth of the vines, the quality, and the yield, most importantly the connection between how grapes are grown and how it’s made.  For a ‘budding young experimental’ winemaker as myself, so very interesting! Pruning normally takes place over the winter months, we were told to leave two-buds, for fruit bearing for the next 2 years, the less buds influences the quality, concentration and complexity. It was unusually hot on the day for mid-winter in South Africa, whilst admiring the amazing views of False Bay and the ocean breeze, we were surprised with ice cold beers by Winemaker, Christian Kuun to quench our thirst.  ‘National Beer Day!  What luck!!

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Next…we gathered at the winery to taste the fruit of Beau Joubert ..7 wines lined up, Oak Lane and Beau Joubert Range. After the terrain and distance we had just covered, we were absolutely looking forward to this! As a ‘rookie wino’ I love the passion and dedication shown by winemakers, making wine not only a job, but an art, Christian Kuun most certainly fit this bill, the wine a testament to his passion. We tasted, we scored and the votes were unanimous – great wine, great quality and great value! My favourite most certainly The Ambassador! Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz perfectly blended to create this rich, mocha beauty! Sophia’s favourite…..the beautiful Fat Pig Port 2007, a well-kept secret from the cellar.

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And yes there was more.. Elzanne Cronje, Beau Joubert Marketing assistant, also Food Blogger extraordinaire, prepared a feast, hearty wholesome South African food made with love..

A fabulous day with lovely wine, a scenic and beautiful farm and most of all awesome people. Thank you Team Beau Joubert!

Discover Beau Joubert – Why not stay over?  Click for vineyard cottage details.



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