The pruning has been done and the vineyards are looking amazing! The colours of the land are eye catching everywhere you look. Different tones of brown, green and yellow, in contrast with a clear blue sky are inspiring many pictures to those who are visiting us.
The 2017 pruning season saw our team challenged by a competition for the best Ayama pruner. The challenge was enthusiastically accepted, and the winners received a very “succulent” hamper. In first place we had Andrew, who actually is one of our best tractor drivers on the farm as well, followed by Jaco in second place, and Johnnie in 3rd place, who is one of the first workers on the farm and still manages to teach the young ones a thing or two . The results were extremely close, with the winners not being too far ahead from each other or the other participants. All men are very well trained and were avid on winning, from which they could proudly advertise their title as the best ‘Ayama Pruner’.
Our farming team is currently busy with suckering, very hectic, as all the vineyards are really vigorous and are willing to give a good production for the upcoming season. We hope for the best as winter has gone and left us with insufficient rainfall, setting the Western Cape into an extremely worrying state about the water situation for next summer. It is a major concern for all agricultural productions, and it is a real crippling challenge for all farmers. We have been sparing water as much as we could, but the dams are looking sadly empty.
A new competition started today for our team on young vine development.
We need to train the new Grenache Blanc and Vermentino blocks, planted last year, to the correct position for the system we chose for these varieties. Talia is fully back in the vineyard, recovering from her time-consuming incident on her knee during harvest. Happy to be back, she is now supervising the teams in all different jobs in the vineyards, together with JP and coordinated by Callie.
Artichokes are finally in full production. It was a very late season for them, the climate was a bit crazy for these plants. Many lovers from all over the Western Cape are enjoying this healthy vegetable in different recipes, and making us happy with lots of requests and spreading the word around to friends and passionate buyers. The season will last another couple of weeks in total, then we will have a short and intense couple of weeks for waiting for their uniquely beautiful flowers to bloom. We’re looking forward to seeing the fields coloured by their violet-blue colour.
Our olive trees have been pruned and their shape is silvery green against the blue sky. Nice and strongly grown, they are heart warming pleasure at sight.
Attilio and Callie have been to Italy for 2 weeks of intense training and knowledge exchange. Italy was in full harvest during the time of their visit, allowing Callie to experience the Italian way of farming- he now even uses the correct accent when saying “Ciao”.
September’s most popular news, a little bit before the Italian trip was Callie’s engagement to Ronel. They are getting married in March! We are all very happy for them, and wish them well on their future together.
Michela travelled to Poland in early October, celebrating her birthday in Warsaw with 12 other producers representing South Africa for an event organized by Wesgro and South African Embassy. The event, led by Ida Kymmer www.espere.co was stunningly organized. Attendance was impressive for a country where SA wine is not so present yet, but definitively showing lots of interest. We are sure the Polish market will see more and more South African wines after this visit. Michela enthusiastically led a masterclass on South Africa, in general, to 25 guests (media and trade), opening an Ayama Vermentino 2016 Magnum, much to the surprise and delight of the guests.
Next trips due are to Italy, where Conad chain shops have listed Ayama Chenin Blanc and Ayama Pinotage, to which we thank Afriwines for their hard work on the market. Another trip is to Mozambique, as we looking to share the Ayama brand in this country, while looking for a partner.
Locally, we had lots of fun participating to Sanlam Top Destination Awards and Pizza & Pasta Festival.
The RockHouse has been busy even during the low season of Winter. We are extremely proud of all the reviews from our guests, but especially very happy about the new additions of friends this little house is bringing to Ayama.
Our Ayama Vermentino 2016 scored an outstanding 91 on the Tim Atkins SA Report 2017. With this being the Vermentino’s maiden vintage, we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this beautiful wine and vineyard, which is yet to reach its’ prime.
The Ayamateca is officially opened! We haven’t celebrated yet… do not worry, you haven’t missed the big event. We will soon be organizing the Grand Opening party and let everybody know. We are just waiting to gear up and for warmer days.
News on wines. We are bottling! What?…. well, there are a few new “babies” to be released in November. Grenache blanc & Noir, Vermentino 2017, Viognier… keep tuned and do not miss any bottle!
Sadly, Elizabeth Southey has left our team. She was with us for a short time, leaving behind memories of a good performance. We wish her all the best for her future.
Wine Greetings from Ayama team