Le Grand Chasseur in the Robertson Wine Valley will start bottling approximately 1 000 cases of wine – the first of the season – next month.
Winemaker Carel Botha said the estate, which is part of the Habata Agri concern, would be producing an estimated 6 000 bottles of five different wines.
He said they would be producing a 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Chardonnay (wooded), 2016 Shiraz, 2017 White Muscadel and perhaps a 2017 Cab/Merlot.
Botha said roughly 4 000 bottles of Muscadel and Sauvignon Blanc would be produced and, as part of their new Reserve Selection range, 300 bottles apiece of the Chardonnay and Shiraz.
He explained the wine would be available exclusively in Robertson and some areas of the Eastern Cape.
“Although it is for public consumption, it won’t be available everywhere.”
He said the winemaking process started soon after harvesting the various varieties of grapes in February and March.
“Once bottle-ready, the wine will go through a number of procedures where it will be tasted and analysed before being approved and certified by the Wine and Spirit Board.
“When it’s approved, we get a mobile bottling unit in because we don’t have our own facilities.”
With the bottles, labels, screw caps and boxes having been organised in advance, Botha said the process was relatively quick.
“The wine passes from the tank through sterile filters and then through the unit and into the bottle,” he explained.
Labelling happened simultaneously, he said, and the bottles were then placed into the boxes.
“All in all, bottling takes about one full day.”
Thereafter, he said, the wine underwent final tests by the board before deemed ready for drinking.
“From there it’s about preparing the wine for consumption, whether it be for the winery itself or for the different selling points.”
Botha said there could be an approximate two-week time gap between when the wine was bottled and when it appeared on the shelves.
He said the date for bottling would be set as soon as the Le Grand Chasseur name was incorporated into the new Habata logo, which was launched recently.
Habata Agri, which is based in the Sundays River Valley in the Eastern Cape, recently acquired Le Grand Chasseur and Botha said their aim was to merge the two identities.