Wine in progress at lovely Belfield

Wine in progress at lovely Belfield
A wine-loving friend and I hopped into the car early yesterday morning and traveled the 70km through Cape Town's mist, and over Sir Lowry's mountain pass to the Elgin Valley's Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival. We picked up our festival passes at the well-known-well-loved Peregrine Farm Stall just outside of the town of Grabouw and headed off to visit as many of the participating wine estates as we could manage.

Our first stop was at Belfield, a lovely boutique wine estate just around the corner from the Peregrine Farm Stall. The main photo in this post shows the contents of one of about 6 large plastic tubs filled with cabernet sauvignon grapes; the makings of the estate's award winning wine. Since we were the first to arrive at his estate, Mike Kreft (owner and wine maker) spent a few minutes explaining the mechanics around the grapes in the tubs.

What's interesting (and not the obvious from just looking at the tubs) is that the pressed husks, floating on top of of a 100-200mm layer of wine-to-be, are constantly releasing carbon dioxide during the fermentation process. The carbon dioxide hovers in a layer just above the husks and (besides for keeping the wine free from oxygen) effectively serves to wards off insects and other contaminating creatures from indulging in the fruits of Mike's labour.

Click on the thumbnails above to see a few more photos that I took on the wine farm's grounds.

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