Jamie Goode's Elgin Punch Down

by Nicolette Waterford     9 MARCH 2017

Jamie Goode, British journalist and popular blogger ( joined wine cellars in the Elgin valley to get hands-on experience in this Southern Hemisphere harvest.

Jamie joined Iona, Paul Cluver, Almenkerk and Elgin Ridge for four days spending time in the vineyards and cellars as grapes were picked, crushed and processed.

At Iona, Syrah was processed by stomping the grapes by foot after being sealed for fermentation to take place. When the Riesling arrived, Jamie got busy with the whole bunch pressing of it into the tanks.

A visit to Paul Cluver saw 17 tonnes of Pinot Noir being sorted and destemmed, as well as punching down some existing ferments while at Almenkerk Sauvignon Blanc featured, while a hand-operated basket press was used to press off some experimental batches of Pinot Noir.

It was business as usual at Elgin Ridge with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon where whole bunches were foot-trodden in plastic bins for some skin ferment, while others were destemmed and crushed and put directly into the barrels.

I learned a lot and had so much fun," says Jamie. "It was much more than simply joining in the winemaking process, I met the people behind the wines. I also got to know Elgin. Spending time with people at the busiest, most exciting, and potentially most stressful time of the year is a great privilege.

"I've learned a great deal. Each of the wineries makes excellent Elgin wine, but each does it in their own particular way. There's a richness in this diversity."