A vineyard toast to MKM 2015 for ranking in the The Absa Top 10 Pinotage Awards! No mean feat in an industry offering plenty of superlative pinotage producers. Well done to our winemaking team!
“I was brought up in a close knit and fairly Afrikaans family where Vetkoekpaleis, Noot Vir Noot and Sunday family braais were all a weekly ritual. When I was 15 my family was given the option to move to Europe and the world opened its doors to me. I lived in Germany and Holland for a total of 15 years where I completed high school. I then went on to study numerous subjects such as Tourism/Leisure Management/Ornithology but I couldn't seem to find direction. When I wasn’t studying I was traveling all over the world from Asia and throughout Europe turning my passport into an atlas. I soaked up the local culture and language in every country we lived in and I became very good at adapting to my surroundings. Europe was a wonderful experience but it was time to return back to my home country. Not long after my return I met my wife Samantha, and that was love at first coffee. At that time she was working for a winery and somehow her passion for wine rubbed off on me. I gradually started to grow in knowledge by studying and my personal favourite, drinking wine or as we call it “research”. My wine career path flourished as I worked for some great wineries that served as stepping-stones to finding a home at Môreson.”
Tell us something people would be surprised to hear about you?
I guess it might come as a surprise to some that I am fully South African although I have a German/Dutch/American pavement special way of pronouncing things. It does seem to baffle our guests and has started a few bets at tables. I actually have exactly the same birth date as my boss and we are going to have twins soon, …what are the chances of that! (GM Nikki Friedman is also a mother to twins).
Your favourite wine in the Moreson range?
This question is always difficult—but for me the wine that is not on any list is normally one that I remember. The FYM, MKM and Fudge makes my heart melt!
What do you like most about working in wine?
It is always exciting working with people as you never know who will walk through the door next.
Other than wine - what do you get up to in your spare time?
What is spare time? In my spare time we like to visit interesting wine estates and restaurants. If I get a minute to slip away and find my golf clubs, I visit the driving range. We like to relax, braai and follow some addictive series on TV.
Favourite part of the Môreson farm?
There are two ways to look at my favourite parts of the farm: People, we are all a big family on the estate working to achieve the same goal. And my favourite spot on the estate – other than the tasting room is the smell of the Chardonnay cellar, but my favourite place on the farm is outside in-between the vines.
Miss Molly is hot to trot at this year's Franschhoek Bastille Festival 2017 come and drink our fine bubbles!
The Food & Wine Marquee which festivalgoers can visit during the weekend of the 15th and 16th of July is set against the backdrop of the historic Huguenot Monument and is the place to be. As winter sets in the marquee is guaranteed to keep out the cold yet still offering exquisite views of the mountain. Ample parking on the grounds allow for comfortable walking distance to and from the village. Sample the superb Franschhoek wines on offer or treat your taste buds to the selection of delicious gourmet fare available to purchase from some of Franschhoek’s well-known eateries.
In the winter of 1988, I experienced what it was like to attend school in regulatory school uniform short pants. Just a few months before I had enrolled in what was then known as Sub A (Grade 1) at Dale College Boys Primary School. Wearing short pants during an Eastern Cape winter is extremely unpleasant especially when you are young enough to have a body fat percentage close to zero percent.
Approximately 1100 km away and occurring at the same time I was experiencing “frost burn” in my legs, a new vine cultivar was being introduced to Môreson Wines.
At the time, Môreson Wines had been planted to cultivars such as Steen (Chenin blanc), Sauvignon blanc, Colombard and SA Riesling. The oldest vineyard, sadly not around anymore was a 3.58 hectare vineyard of Chenin blanc planted in 1968. Most if not all of these vineyards were planted to supply the local Franschhoek wine cooperative with grapes as per our agreed quota.
During the winter of 1988, 2.42 hectares of prime soil location was being prepared for the arrival of the new Chardonnay CY 277 cuttings. Chardonnay was a relatively new wine grape cultivar in South Africa with the first certified plantings only taking place in the early 80’s.
The new Chardonnay vineyard being planted on Moreson that year was momentous for two reasons:
In 1998, Moreson had decided to become a private estate producer opting to plant Chardonnay for Cap Classique production.
In 2017, Moreson only grows Chardonnay on the estate opting to produce a variety of styles from a vast array of clones.
Whether we knew it or not, 1988 was the start of Moreson’s journey into Chardonnay production. The new vineyard was planted and named B7 designating Blois 7, Blois being the name of the subdivided section that comprises Moreson Wines.
For 25 years, this vineyard provided the base wine for the former Moreson Blanc de blancs and today the Moreson Solitaire Blanc de blancs. Up until 2014, B7 was the majority component of our Solitaire blend. The maturity of the vines produced grapes that were ideal for Cap Classique production displaying raw minerality (stony, steely, flint & chalk)
Sadly, the vineyard were infected with leaf roll virus and in all likelihood was infected with the virus at the time of planting. Clean and certified planting material was a misnomer in the early years and through time, the virus began to infect the vineyards. Since my arrival at Moreson Wines in 2007, we continued to produce base wine from B7. The effects of the virus had not taken its grip fully as yet and we were content with the quality of the final base product. As time progressed, we started noticing a gradual decline in the quality of the wines. Each year, the effect of this gradually increased. As a counter measure, we improved our pressing techniques by fractioning off small percentages of the Cuveé juice (first pressing) and kept this separate until it was time for blending.
By 2014, we had exhausted our pressing tactics and could not with a clear conscience continue to utilise B7 inside the Solitaire blend.
At Moreson Wines, we have a zero tolerance on compromising grape and wine quality. The 2014 vintage was the last vintage to have wine from B7 in the final blend. It was also the year that we started to introduce our new vineyard M03, planted in 2008 into the Solitaire blend.
Between 2015 and 2017, we reluctantly discussed the removal of B7. The vineyard was almost completely infected with virus and concerns of the virus spreading was a real issue.
This winter, exactly 30 years on we removed B7. It will be remembered as the vineyard which established our journey into Chardonnay.
The land which B7 was planted will lie fallow for the next two years. A new still wine clone of Chardonnay is currently being investigated for suitability in this area with planting commencing in winter of 2019, perhaps another significant milestone year for Moreson Wines.
Come warm yourself by our new fireplace this winter while wine-tasting.
We're so proud of our restaurant, Bread & Wine, which has been recognised as one of the world's most underrated restaurants by CNN Travel. We couldn't agree more.
Food writer Tamsin Snyman says: "Eighteen years of masterful cuisine has been carved here into the fabric of Franschhoek's culinary scene, courtesy of Neil Jewell, who cut his teeth in the kitchens of Stephen Bull, Richard Corrigan and Ray Neve before he began his journey at Bread & Wine. "His wife Tina, a master-baker, runs the front-of-house, while Jewell, also known as the charcuterie king of the country, toils in the kitchen. Locals return time and again for his bespoke charcuterie platters, his champion dish of butter-roasted kingklip with chicken-wing confit and pickled mushrooms. "The seasonally updated menu also includes treats such as warm salad of bone marrow, oxtail and sweetbreads."
Love Pinotage? Or just elegantly crafted wines in general? We thought you might.
Over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of June we're offering the unique opportunity to taste older vintages of our lauded Pinotage: 2008, 2012, 2014 will be up for tasting as well as the 2014 Pi-not-age blend.
The tasting stock and sales is only available while it lasts and the tasting costs R70 per person (groups up to 6 pax).
The tasting is by appointment only.