Blankbottle Wines

8th April 2021

Somerset West, South Africa

Pieter is the renaissance man of wine: inspired grape alchemist, entrepreneur, printmaker, star of social media, and officially the 2nd best winemaking surfer in the Cape in 2014.

He is truly one of the leaders of the new wave of young South African producers. Perhaps his greatest talent is his ability to find new and interesting sources for his grapes.

As he says: "At tastings I often get the question: ‘How do you conceptualize new wines?’ Although normally a firm believer in strategic planning, when it comes to new wines, I plan NOT to plan.

You can never force a wine, you just need to follow the road you’re on. The journey normally starts with a friend, which typically leads to another friend, new areas and vineyards.

Ultimately I end up with a wine that expresses the journey more than the actual destination, a combination of these people and their habitat".

What Pieter loves is the opportunity to work with a wide range of grape varieties, and blending in particular. As he puts it, "we pick certain varietals as ‘treble’ components and other as ‘bass’ components.

We then focus not on the varietal as such, but on the specific contributing factors of that wine to the final blend". His winemaking philosophy is minimal intervention: no sulphur before fermentation, no added yeast, acid or enzymes; and spontaneous fermentations.

He is also very careful not to over-employ new barrels: he likes the oak just "polishing the fruit".

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