Planting the Vine

Still in the thick of planting season, this month we are elucidating the process of planting – putting the vine in the ground – and all the planning and detail around this fairly simple-seeming process.   Long before planting – even before winter sets in – the soil is prepared by ripping, which aerates and … Continued

Making a Difference – Community

Making a difference through building Community is a founding principle of Oldenburg Vineyards. The question is, what does this mean?   I like to think that Community is a three-way proposition. Internally, what can the business do to create a positive impact? Externally, what can we do to make an impact on our local community? … Continued

Cover Crop

The more one learns about viticulture and winemaking, the more it becomes apparent that the actions and activities occurring in the dormant winter months is equally (if not more) important than the bustling harvest activities involved in making the wines. The numerous practices applied to the vines between the end of one harvest, and the … Continued

Wine Vessels – Tanks, Barrels, Foudres and Eggs

Once the harvest starts drawing to a close, the cellar is at the point where tens of thousands of litres of juice – in various stages of fermentation and post-fermentation processing – needs to be dealt with, processed and stored to complete the journey into a bottle of Rondekop, Oldenburg Vineyards or <CL°. This month, … Continued

Whole Bunch Fermentation

In a previous post, we elucidated and compared the use of whole bunches compared to crushing and destemming the bunches before fermentation. This month, we are delving into the fermentation process and focusing on the whole bunch method, and how it is used here in the Oldenburg Vineyards cellar.   Whole bunch fermentation is typically … Continued

Whole Bunch Pressing vs Crush & Destem

Continuing with the harvest theme, this month we are looking at the different methods of pressing the grapes (the process to get the juice out of the berries). It might seem straightforward (squeeze the berry and the juice comes out, right?) but there are actually two very different methods of pressing that can be used … Continued

Crop Thinning (Green Harvesting)

Rolling through summer, towards harvest, the vineyard team are at work with the final interventions before the grapes ripen and harvest begins. Around veraison (the period where grapes start to visibly ripen, from green to soft yellow or red, depending on the cultivar) is the time where the practice of crop thinning – or green … Continued

Grapevine Growth & Bunch Development

As we head into summer, the countdown to harvest has officially begun – but while our focus is often on the beautifully ripened, ready-for-picking grapes, the earlier stages of grapevine development are all crucial to producing the perfect bunch of grapes.   The annual growth cycle of the grapevine consists of several stages: budburst (or … Continued

Wine Maturation

When thinking of wines in terms of maturation, images of tranquil, dusty cellars are conjured up, lined with bottles of wines that have been resting in the dark for years – or even decades. But what does it mean to age or mature a wine? What actually happens to the precious liquid over time? And … Continued

Grapevine Pruning

Pruning is defined as the act of cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to encourage growth. Many of us have experience with pruning rose bushes in winter, to ensure new growth and more flowers in the following spring. Similarly, grapevines need to be pruned in the winter-time, to ensure optimal growth and  … Continued

The Role of Oak – Part 2

This month, we continue our exploration on the nuances around the role of oak in wine. First, let’s talk about wine cooperage – the making and conditioning of wine barrels to use in winemaking. Now that we understand the importance of oak in the winemaking process, we can delve deeper into the nuances brought by … Continued

The Role of Oak – Part 1

The image of a wine barrel is inextricably linked to our modern idea of winemaking, but the history of the oak barrel begins over two millennia ago – where the Romans first met the Gauls. As the Roman Empire expanded, transporting wine in relatively fragile clay amphora became problematic, but from the Gauls they learned … Continued

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