Die Mas Boerdery has got the biggest variety of different wine grape cultivars in the region, some in very little experimental quantities for our own small private cellar. But some of the large quantities of grapes still need to go to our local Orange River Co-Operative Wine Cellar, which happens to be the largest winery in the Southern Hemisphere. These five cellars can process up to 1100 tons per day each and the group have handled 163 000 tons in 2008. After weighing in, a representative sample is taken of the grape juice, it is quickly analysed for Sugar content, pH and acid ratio’s using the latest technology and then tipped into large receiving hoppers. After all the wine and juice has been processed, large tankers drive it of to Upington where the wine will be bottled or the juice been further concentrated.
For our own private cellar things take a change for the smaller. Only the best grapes are selected by our winemaker, hand picked at optimal ripeness and then processed old fashion style. Lots of care and dedication goes into these small quantities as quality is of the essence. After pressing the cold grapes, the juice are left to settle in Stainless Steel tanks at 10 degrees centigrade. Yeast are added to the clear juice and fermentation begin. Some of the white wines like our Chardonnay are fermented in small oak casks and have a delicate taste with abundant fruit and tropical flavours, perfect for our Green Kalahari Range, and then enhanced further with the soft subtle flavours of the french Oak casks like vanilla and butterscotch.
The red wines are fermented on their skins so as to extract all the red colour pigments, tannins and other “good stuff” like antioxidants and so on. During this time the wine need to be stirred and mixed constantly to aid the extraction process. After completion the red wine juice and skins are poured into an old fashioned basket press where the wine runs through the slits of the oak staves, leaving al the skins and pips behind to be pressed later. These red wines now will lay in small french oak casks for at least a year, if not longer before they are bottled into our Red Kalahari Range.
Our area is world famous for its sweeter dessert wines which come as no surprise, as the fertile soils, abundant water and lots of sunshine is the key ingredient in what we call “Liquid Sunshine”, these Golden Kalahari Dessert Wines are the most popular and the traditional Muscat d’Alexandrie or “Hanepoot” as the locals call it sells like hot cakes. The Kalahari Port is also a firm favourite for the not so sweet palate.
Then for the real men there is the 1000 liter copper Potstill al the way from France’s Conjac region. To make good brandy you first have to make a very good young wine. These wines need to be made from the best earliest grapes with good natural acidity and low pH, so as not to need any sulphar dioxide as preservative during winemaking. That would be against the law and the sulphar would anyway damage the Copper potstill. During the first distillation process the unwanted first and last distillates, the heads and tails” are removed, while only the heart is kept. We distill all these hearts a second time, again removing the heads and tails. Our end product which now weighs in at a heafty 75% alcohol content is now so pure and the grape flavours so concentrated that we need to put them away in french oak casks in a cage under lock and key for 3 years. We hardly can wait for 2012 when the first amber coloured brandy will emerge from this mellowing process. They will then be blended to make up a uniqe product reflecting its heritage, the mighty Orange River Region.
So there you have it all, the experience and tastes of a lifetime all one one farm. Come and enjoy the sunshine and goodness we have on offer.