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The Mastercopy - October 2016

Welcome to the ICWM ’Mastercopy’ Newsletter

In this issue:

  • A time to judge, and a time to travel and taste - Sandy Harper CWM
  • PARADOKS – the paradoxical story of a winemaker’s dream - Conrad Louw CWM
  • The Cape Winemakers Guild has a new Chairperson
  • New Zealand road trip - Cathy White CWM
  • Member publications now available on our website
  • "Bits & Pieces" - including news on our upcoming Cinsault tasting

A time to judge, and a time to travel and taste

Sandy Harper CWM has had a busy season judging at various shows and competitions, but it did not affect her time to travel & taste either.
Sandy recently acted as one of the judges at The Cape Legends Inter Hotel Show Cook Challenge, which took place a few weeks ago. Higgo Jacobs, Germain Lehody and Sandy Harper CWM were the three travelling wine judges for this programme, which is designed for previously disadvantaged chefs and wine stewards to learn and show off their culinary and vinous skills.  The Gala Prize Giving dinner took place on Friday 29th July 2016 at the Belmond Mount Nelson. This was a glittering affair, as each of the tables was dressed in stunning ‘Platinum & Pearls’ creatively designed by individual hotels.  The competition is held nationally and it is an initiative that is aimed at skills improvement and upliftment - ultimately raising the bar for tourism. 
Sandy was also part of the judging panel for the International Wine and Spirit Competition which is held in London each year.  This was a small part of an on-going judging of wine entries across the extent of wine producing countries who enter their wines into this prestigious competition.   
Sandy judged on the Australian panel from Tuesday 16th - Friday 19th August 2016.  The tastings were held at Dunsfold Park (where Top Gear is filmed) in Guildford, London, and she commuted by train and bus from Twickenham each day.  Sandy thought it was a great honour and privilege to have had this amazing experience.   On average 70 wines were tasted per day across all Australian and Tasmanian Wine Regions including Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and Margaret River.  Thus approximately 280 wines were judged across the four days she was there.

Sandy has also travelled to the Margaret River Valley and submitted a picturesque rendition of her travels there.  This is a ‘must read’ should you plan to travel there.  Please read this article at the following link:

PARADOKS: the paradoxical story of a winemaker’s dream
by Conrad Louw CWM

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Juliet expresses to Romeo that a name is a reproduction and worthless resolution, and that she loves the person who is called "Montague", but neither does she know the Montague name, nor the Montague family. So what does Shakespeare’s quote have to do with a paradox? Well, according to the Oxford Dictionary, paradox (noun), means an outwardly illogical or contradictory statement or suggestion which, when examined, may be proven to be factual or true.  Or is it?  
It was consequently reason enough to ask Louis van der Riet more questions about this interesting wine.
A big Hollywood smile appeared on his face when he was asked to elaborate, and he eagerly continued to elucidate.  After toiling with this (ambiguously) unique idea for quite some time, Louis made his wine from Cinsaut and Pinot Noir, the latter which grows at 600m altitude in a cool pocket in the Outeniqua Mountains. The grapes had ripened very slowly, and produced healthy berries of exceptional quality. “These grapes were hand-harvested at the end of March, and the grapes were still cold when they arrived at the cellar.  The juice was fermented in an open tank for five days on the skins, says Louis, and it had a light pump-over twice a day.”  Afterwards, it underwent malolactic fermentation, where it spent 14 months in 3rd fill barrels.
With regards to the Cinsaut, it is an old work-horse that has been around for centuries, but of late has become “the new kid in the block”, and has certainly become a buzz-word on many maverick-like winemakers’ lips. When it came to the winemaking of the Paradoks, it was like a hands-on parent “mothering” a precious baby. 600kg of selected Cinsaut bunches were harvested, and care was given to select only the darkest berries, and deliberately omit any rotten ones.
Van der Riet continues fervently, “I left the pulp to start natural fermentation, of which a portion was whole bunches.  After 2 days I could see the skins started to form a cap on top of the juice.  I then weighed the cap down with a screen and weights, so the skins would stay submerged in the juice to extract as much colour as possible. After three days, the whole bunches had stayed at the bottom of the fermenter.  I tasted the whole berries on the bunches and it had this amazing, still sweet, fruity taste as the fermentation in the unbroken berries are much slower.” 
Louis was quick to realise that he wanted to capture this amazing taste of the whole berries, so he cautiously took these whole bunches, and berry-for-berry removed them from the stems, painstakingly and lovingly crushing each berry with his fingers, then discarding the stems.  This tedious but meticulous process took all of two days.  After a light press in a small basket press, it completed fermentation in barrels, where it also aged for 14 months in 3rd fill barrels.
The two components met for the first time when they were blended shortly before bottling, unfiltered and unfined.  The Paradoks is a wine to look out for, and worth the effort to obtain a bottle or six.  It drinks beautifully now, but will undoubtedly age into an even more serious wine over the next couple of years.  Regardless if “Paradoks” is semantics or wordplay, this Cinsaut/Pinot Noir blend promises magnitude, just like some of South Africa’s iconic Pinotages.
So whether Juliet could disregard the Montague name or not, Romeo remained a Montague and Juliet a Capulet. Can one then ask if a sweet smelling rose remains a rose by any other name? 
Let us think ‘Paradoks’ - Is this well-crafted Cinsaut/Pinot Noir blend hypothetically a Pinotage, or not?  Before you answer, the plot thickens.  Bertus van Niekerk from Somerset West, and his “Osbloed” wines, produce a wine called “Wonderbare Raadsman” (“Wonderful Councillor”).  This is a three-way blend of “Pinotage, Cinsaut & Pinot Noir”.  So, talking about a paradox/Paradoks, one can only wonder if this thought ever crossed Professor Perold’s mind. Unmistakably, I would say.

The Cape Winemakers Guild has a new chairperson

There are several members of the ICWM who are also members of the Cape Winemakers Guild.  Therefore, it is important to build bridges with other prominent wine bodies, such as the CWG.  The following article has been submitted with the permission of the Cape Winemakers Guild, as well as Miles Mossop, who is the incoming Chairperson of the Guild:

Why did you become a winemaker?
MM: It started as a lifestyle choice and very quickly became a passion.
When you are not making wine, what are you most likely to be found doing?
MM: Surfing or relaxing with my family (often surfing with my family, as we all surf!)
How would you cellar team describe you?
MM: Meticulous and a stickler for detail.
What is your personal theme tune?
MM: Redemption Song – Bob Marley
Why is it important to be a Guild Member?
MM: The sharing of ideas and experiences between the winemakers in the Guild is immense.  The group ranges from relatively young to a much older generation who can share their experiences, as well as new ideas.  I also feel a strong social responsibility with regards to our Protégé initiative, as well as the more recent investment into cellar worker training.
If you could be any other Guild Member for a day, who would it be, where would it be and why?
MM: I don’t want to be any other Guild member, I am happy as I am.
If your career path had taken a different turn and you hadn’t become a winemaker, what would you be doing today?
MM: I would probably be a geologist, as this was my first degree.  But I really would have wanted to be a pro surfer.

New Zealand Road Trip
by Cathy White CWM

In the late eighties, I worked for a company in Johannesburg that not only sold an amazing selection of  top class South African wines but very fortunately for me, also an array of high quality international brands, many of which we were able to taste.  Amongst all the fabulous wines from the “old world” there were several outstanding wines from the “new” and in particular, I loved the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Twenty odd years later I finally managed to get on board a plane and fly off to the “land of the long white cloud” to explore the country, see the sights, visit most of the wine regions and taste all the New Zealand wines I could possibly taste .  We landed in Auckland late one evening, at the end of February 2014 with the city lights spreading out beneath us in all directions. Rising early the next day we flew on to Christchurch on the eastern coast of the South Island.
Christchurch was devastated by a catastrophic earthquake in February 2011 and although several years had passed, the damage caused was still palpably visible.  We found many of the shops and cafes housed in make-shift shipping containers but amidst and  in spite of all the destruction, life seemed to carry on as normal in the city.
Just after dawn the following morning we boarded the TranzAlpine train to Greymouth on the west coast and spent several pleasurable hours soaking up the scenery, criss-crossing over deep gorges, following the glacial river bed of the Waimakariri River, winding through the beautiful Southern Alps and eventually arriving at our destination in the early afternoon and the beginning of our epic road trip around New Zealand.

Read the full article by clicking here:

Member publications now available on our website

At the Institute’s AGM in May it was agreed that we should create an archive of the written contribution’s that members have made to the wine industry. This should go as far back as possible and as far as possible be kept up to date. This would be a visible testimony to the role of our members.
It involves collecting material that members have written for newspapers, magazines, books or websites and includes articles, opinion pieces and reviews. The submissions would be stored electronically and linked to the ICWM website so that researches or students could have access to them.

Quite a few members have responded to the request to send us their publications, which are now available to view on our website at the following link:

We invite all members to please send any related material to so that we can upload it onto our website. 

Bits & Pieces

The arrangements for our Cinsault tasting are now finalised - please book your seat early as there are only 40 seats available! Your payment will secure your seat - all proof of payments needs to be sent to Some of the wines you can expect to taste are Triennes Rosé (Provence), Turley- Lodi Cinsault Bechtoldt Vineyard (USA), Musar Hochar (Lebanon), Eenzaamheid, Naudé, Natte Valleij, Perdeberg, Pofadder, Leeuwenkuil and Waterkloof. Some of the winemakers will be present to talk about their wines, whilst our in-house Cinsault experts will lead the tasting. Canapés will be served afterwards.
Tom Blok CWM and his wife Adri recently spent a fantastic 10 days exploring some of the wine regions of Chile.  It was a great opportunity for them to get to know the wine regions, cellars and wines of Chile in a little bit more detail.  As always happens with trips like these, he brought back an interesting selection of Chilean wines.
Instead of hoarding these in the cellar and drinking them on their own over a period of time, Tom decided to have an impromptu tasting of all of these wines on one occasion and invited some of his CWM friends to his "Chilean Master Class". For those that longed for Pais, Carmenere or some of the other interesting blends, this sure was an evening to remember!
Since the introduction of Brandy to the annual Veritas Awards in 2010, this was the first year in which the entire panel was made up of Cape Wine Masters. The only non-CWM on the panel was Denis Lahouratate, cellarmaster at the House of Bisquit Cognac, who added his vast expertise and skill to complete the team.
From left to right: Derek Ramsden, Raymond Noppé, Mary-Lou Nash, Dr Winifred Bowman (panel chair), Nina-Marie Bruwer, Dr Andy Roediger and Denis Lahouratate.
It was with sadness that we learned about the resignation from the ICWM of both Marilyn Cooper (top left) and Clive Torr (top right).
Marilyn's input into many of the CWM-students resulted in many of them graduating as Cape Wine Masters. She is leaving behind a huge legacy - Marilyn was off course the principal of the Cape Wine Academy for many years, and also established the Soweto Wine Festival and the Department of Tourism’s Sommelier courses, and many other industry-related events have gained greatly from her selfless work that she has put in. 
Clive's many years of dedication to the ICWM, as well as being a great ambassador for the Institute, will always be remembered, as well as being one of the best lectures the Cape Wine Academy has ever had!
On behalf of the entire Institute of Cape Wine Masters, we would like to thank Marilyn and Clive for their dedication to the CWA and ICWM - it will always be appreciated!

There is a vacant position for the Editor for the Mastercopy.  This is a vital extension for the Institute of Cape Wine Masters, not only to us as a group, but also to the outside public.

This person will be responsible to gather and collate information and articles from other members of the Institute and publish the Mastercopy twice yearly, or more if there is enough information forthcoming.

Any person interested please contact Conrad Louw on 0833261844 or
Copyright © 2016 Institute of Cape Wine Masters, All rights reserved.

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