Happy New Year to all AYAMA friends! We hope that 2013 brims with good health, much happiness, pleasurable wine drinking and good sales.
Life on the farm is always busy, but never more so that at harvest time.
We started picking our early plums in mid-November, and the Pioneers in particular were very big and juicy. Sadly, most of our European customers did not get to taste them for Christmas – the south-east wind (called the Cape Doctor) blew so fiercely for two weeks that no cargo boats were allowed to leave harbour. Luckily the cargo boats are refrigerated so the plums did not spoil. Late-ripening varieties like Laetitia and Songold are almost ready for harvesting, and the pears are ripening (we shipped a few big juicy ones this week.)
Indeed, there’s no time to rest, and there are lots of new discoveries for CALLIE HEFER, who joined the Ayama team last November. Young and talented, and very eager to learn, Callie brings even more positive energy to the Slent management team. Luan and Callie complement each other and are a dynamic duo.
Vineyards and olive trees are looking stunning this year. We had an unusual winter/spring season with lots of wind and cool days, but the summer shows promise of a great 2013 vintage. Sauvignon and Pinotage will be harvested in February, followed later by the other cultivars. Until then, we need to focus on healthy vineyards, lots of attention to irrigation as the summer heats up, and a good balance between leaves and bunches.
We are very pleased with the growth of the new vineyards. 7ha of new vines were planted in August 2012 – Chenin Blanc bush vines, Pinotage, Grenache Noir and Viognier. We look forward to next year when we can taste the first bunches of our new cultivars.
And……. finally!! 2013 will be the year that we plant our VERMENTINO vines. This will be something to celebrate as this white grape from Sardinia – Italy will be an unique addition to our range being the first authorized Vermentino in South Africa. Watch out for our newsletters …… we are thinking of asking some of our “Friends in Wine” to help us plant the new vines. Wouldn’t that be a great experience?
From our cellars, what’s next? Well, lots of excitement around 2012 Coffee Style Pinotage! This will be released in April 2013 and it will be a BABOON’S CUDDLE. “What on earth is that?” you may well ask. Look out for our next newsletter, be patient and all will be revealed.
New vintages for MCC’s will be released soon. It was a great December 2012 for Ayama MCC’s, with Blanc de Blanc 2008 being awarded in the TOP 6 MCC’s , and the Brut 2008 placed in the TOP 10 in South Africa by ClassicWine Magazine.
We will be bottling 2012 Merlot and Shiraz in January. They will then need a couple of months’ ageing, and then they will be ready to go all over the world too.
We are extremely grateful to our new importers and agents in Japan, Russia, Finland, South Africa and Kenya for giving AYAMA wines the opportunity to be distributed, and become known in these countries for the first time in 2012. And a warm welcome to those in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and the USA who recently joined the team, and who are sure to do a great job in 2013.
Finally, a huge “THANK YOU” to our importers and agents who have supported Ayama wines from the beginning. A special word of thanks goes to Allied Vintners and their agents in Europe, Galma International in Thailand and Cipelli in Ontario, Canada.
Here’s to a great 2013 – enjoy it with the AYAMA team.