Thursday, February 16, 2017

Celebrating the Harvest at Jordan

Glorious summer brings on the grape harvest in our winelands and many farms are celebrating their success. We hear that this harvest is generally a good one, despite the drought; grapes are smaller, but the juice is very concentrated, with good sugar and acids. We were invited to Jordan with other media people this week to taste some of the juice, the newly fermenting wine and last year's bottled wine and we were very impressed
A welcoming glass of Jordan's Chameleon Rosé was appreciated by all
Gary and Kathy Jordan with Den Anker's owner Elizabeth de Visscher and manager, Réjeanne Vlietman
Gary and Kathy Jordan welcomed us and talked about what is happening on the farm. This is the worst drought for 100 years. Thankfully, Jordan drilled for water 3 years ago, but even that water has to be used sparingly or the boreholes will dry up. Harvest began on the 2nd of February, coincidentally the day on which Jan van Riebeek made the first wine in the Cape in 1659. Jordan starts later because the ±400m altitude of their vineyards meansd that they have a cooler environment than most Stellenbosch estates. This is a cooler year than we have had for some time, with temperatures about 1.5C lower. They have, so far, been spared from the fires that have devastated other wine growing areas
Winemaker Sjaak Nelson's Harvest 2017 T-shirt tells it all: WTF - Wine Time Finally
As we stood in the cellar noises of wine being made were all around us. As they brought in the grapes, the crusher and destemmer were ready to work and tanks were being vented
The best bit, a chance to taste the ripe grapes, the juice and newly fermenting wines, with some of last year's wines to show what the juice can become. We could also smell some of the fermenting yeasts that are used - they are in the chemistry flasks - rather bready and complex, but they do their job so well. We tasted the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and the unoaked 2016 Chardonnay
Kathy talks about the journey from grape to glass
Gary talks about the chemistry
Jordan shoes?
Time to taste some wine
We moved to the terrace, where tables were set for us under the trees
Happy with harvest
A view of the dam and the country beyond
A taste of the Real McCoy 2016 Riesling
and a shot of chilled Gazpacho. The food for lunch came from the Jordan Bakery
We shared platters of meat, cheese, olives and relishes
and two salads. A Bacon and broccoli with seeds
A beetroot, feta, rocket and sliced onion salad. Great on a hot day
The trees give a lot of good shade
The barman, named Talent, looked after our glasses very well
Oh, those lovely views
With coffee, a tempting selection from the bakery of small bites of their desserts: chocolate tarts, cheese cake, lemon tart, brownies, chocolate covered strawberries and apple pie
All are available at the bakery to eat there or take home
Gary brings out his rock collection of some of the different terroirs on the farm. He started his working life as a geologist
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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