Holden Manz winemaker finds new inspiration in Bordeaux
Following a two month working stay in Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, winemaker Schalk Opperman is keen to put his new tricks of the trade to the test at Holden Manz wine estate in Franschhoek.
Schalk gained valuable insight into Bordeaux and its style of wine and vineyard practice while working in the cellars of Chateau Bellefont Belcier and Chateau Trianon.
“We make a Bordeaux style blend, our flagship Big G, at Holden Manz, so it was important for me to experience the ‘real deal’ to know what one competes with in the international market,” says Schalk, noting the similarities in winemaking when comparing this famous wine region with South Africa.
“Their winemaking focuses in particular on natural cultivar expression, instead of enhancing flavour through fermentation, additions and wood. I found their pump over regimes interesting, as well as times when the grapes worked hard or not, as our climates differ and we deal with harsher sunlight.”
The knowledge and experience he gained in Bordeaux will definitely reflect in his winemaking, says Schalk.
“I like how they focus on the fruit and the natural character of the grape instead of overloading the wine with wood and other additions, as many do in South Africa. We can learn a lot from each other, and should one compare, South African winemakers definitely prove their mettle. We do great research as far as our viticulture goes, and our climate forces us to work harder in the vineyards.”
Schalk’s just released maiden vintage, the crisp and lively Holden Manz Rosé 2012, is a perfect summer wine that is sure to take centre stage during the festive season.
The Holden Manz tasting room is open daily from 10h00 to 17h00, and the estate offers a spectacular setting for weddings. For more information or bookings, phone 021-876 2738. Visit Holden Manz on Facebook or www.holdenmanz.com. To reach Holden Manz, turn right at the Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek and follow the signs for two kilometres.