I recently did a garagiste course at the University of Stellenbosch presented by Dr Wessel du Toit. It is a weekend course starting on a Friday night after work and ending on a Sunday afternoon. We learned quite a lot and made good friends.
My friend and ex-colleague, Leon Britz, did this course as well, and I had the pleasure of enjoying some of his wine. You can read about his adventures on his blog
To start my adventures, I thought it wise to start with a starter kit which I ordered from www.winemakingkits.co.za. The kit was delivered on Saturday 22 February 2014 and contains the following:
- HUGE plastic container for fermentation
- 50l Oak barrel, syphon and stomper
- Goodies (yeast, nutrients, bacteria, corks, bottle covers, plugs, fermenting cap)
- 60 bottles
- 6 buckets of frozen Pinotage (20l each, so 120l)
The grapes are indeed very much frozen, and must be defrosted completely before the wine making begins. The anticipation and excitement is electrifying. My main concern is keeping the temperature from soaring since Pinotage ferments faster. I created a section in my garage where all of this will happen, and it is a cool-ish spot. Let’s hope for the best!