Tuesday 13 June 2017

Spier of the monent

Before today the term #wcw referred to woman crush Wednesday but after today we as the Grate App bequeath #wcw as wine crush Wednesday.

So who are we crushing on today? Which fine wine has earned the right to be a wine of the week?

Emerging from the coding and wine capital of the South Africa Stellenbosch we have a wine farm called Spier and today we take a proverbial sip of the fine wines that Spier produces. Enjoy.

Spier is known for their award-winning wines, their four star village style hotel, farm-to-table eatery Eight Restaurant and  the Hoghouse BBQ and Bakery. 

Renowned for its responsible tourism approach, Spier has been recognised by various external organisations including Fair Trade in Tourism (FTTSA) and the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA), and was awarded gold at the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 in the category of Best for Accommodation for Responsible Employment.

Spier also supports many and varied environmental and social initiatives, which includes ways to reduce water usage. Spier recycles more than 100% of its wastewater, and more than 95% of its solid waste! Spier supports local communities through the Tree-preneur project, which encourages people in impoverished communities to grow trees in exchange for essential goods. 

I’m sure as you are reading this, you’re thinking: when can I visit the winelands? I need to unwind over a long lunch!

And trust us, you do.

Chef Lorianne Heyns serves up fresh, farm-style cuisine at Spier Hotel's restaurant and wine bar as well as at Eight, Spier’s farm-to-table eating experience. “Being on the farm and seeing the seasons change, you feel more connected to nature. It has a big impact on the thinking behind the dishes you create,” says Chef Lolli. Inspired by ingredients sourced from the Spier farm or suppliers with a similar approach, Chef Lolli perfectly pairs the Spier wines to each dish.

Now comes the part all the Grate foodies have been waiting for, the wine. 
Cellar Master Frans Smit is the driving force behind the wines, working to “to get the most out of each grape with as little interference as possible”. He truly believes that the quality of the wine starts in the vineyard.

Spier has three wine ranges:
  • ·        Spier Signature, their classic everyday drinking range; 
  • ·        Spier Creative Block, the range of wine blends;
  • ·       21 Gables, the top-tier range that celebrates the history of winemaking in South Africa.

Spier’s flagship wine, Frans K. Smit, was named after their Cellar Master, who has also been a member of the esteemed Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) since 2010 – an association of the top winemakers in the country.

Now if we had to choose between these amazing wines we have a feeling that the Frans K. Smit flagship wine would be the chosen one. 

But wine is made to be enjoyed - whether you enjoy it with your friends at a dinner party, or have a glass by yourself while cooking, it is meant to enhance your experience. And if you can make your way to Spier, do try to fit in as many experiences as you can! From farm-to-table food, amazing wines, seasonal picnics, vineyard tours on a Segway, interacting with rehabilitated birds-of-pray at the Eagle Encounters or just relaxing next to the Eerste river. 

At the Grate App, we are not just about food but food memories and from the looks of it foodies can create a myriad of memories at Spier.

Next we took a deep dive into the wine making process, what makes Spier wines unique? 

All wine is made essentially in the same way: 
White wines is made from white grapes (in most cases). At Spier, we hand-harvest grapes early morning, and hand sort it before crushing it to separate the juice from the grape skins. The juice is transferred into tanks to undergo fermentation under controlled temperatures. 

Red wine is made from red grapes. Where white wine is made by pressing the juice from the skins early on, red wines gets its colour by extracting it from the red skins during the fermentation process. 

So the different wines styles (and prices) can all be attributed to the different methods used during the crafting process, eg. whether a wine ferments in a stainless steel tank or in a French oak barrel, whether a wine ends up in barrel for further maturation, whether those barrels are new or used. 

At Spier, they ferment and age wine in a variety of vessels like stainless steel tanks, wooden barrels, open top wooden fermenters and cement eggs. 

That sounds like a great amount of technique, skill and experience goes into every bottle of the Spier wines and with Cellar Master Frans Smit at the helm you can expect only the best. 

Now we are sure you are reading this and wondering where can you get ahold of these amazing wines we have Grate news for you, Spier wines are available nationwide, or directly from the farm at http://store.spierwines.co.za 

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