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  • Sugar and Spice – Flowering Pt 1

    A little over 3 weeks ago we introduced you to Sugar and Spice. These two vines located on opposite sides of the farm in vastly different soils contribute to two of our most beloved wines: Sugarbush Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and Conebush Single Vineyard Syrah.

    We revisit them today in the middle of November, as they begin to take on one of the most critical stages in the vineyard cycle: flowering.

    Before we get into the details of flowering and why our winemakers and viticulturists begin to lose sleep this time of year – let’s first have a look at Sugar and Spice.

    When we last saw them they were in the middle of bud break. Infant leaves were beginning to emerge from the dormant trunks and small shoots were slowly coming to life. Still, when you looked out over the different vineyard blocks, it was mostly wood that filled the view.

    Today it is very different. Our two vines are filled with life as the shoots continue to climb and some leaves reach maturation.

    At the current stage of the vineyard cycle we can see a lot of cultivar-specific characteristics showing through. The two photos above of Sugar (Sauvignon Blanc on the left) and Spice (Syrah on the right) show very contrasting growth.

    Syrah is a vigorous vine. Already its’ shoots are much taller and leaf development much farther along than Sugar.

    But when we take a closer look it’s clear that Sugar is in fact still in the lead as far as the vineyard cycles go.

    Here we see the current flowering status of both vines. To better understand, let’s first discuss this stressful phase of the vineyard cycle.

    Grapevines are hermaphroditic. What this means is unlike many other plants that rely on bees or other wildlife for pollination, vineyards have both male and female parts which allow them to self pollinate.

    These small green balls on what appears to be a very young cluster of grapes are called calyptra. These structures look like undeveloped grapes but are actually little cases containing the flower parts, protected by 5 petals. The stamen, or male part, has already come out on the Sauvignon Blanc. These are the off-white stick structures coming out of the calyptra. On the tips of them are the pollen sacks.

    Soon, the petals of the calyptra will begin to open up and expose the pistil, or female part of the flower.

    It is here where things get stressful.

    Rain and wind are the biggest threats to this stage of the vineyard cycle. These are also two very common weather patterns we receive here in the cool-climate Cape Agulhas region. Too much of either can have a devastating effect on the years yield.

    A 30% pollination rate on a cluster is a tremendous success. However, storms are sporadic and unpredictable here on the Southernmost Tip of Africa.

    What makes this stage particularly challenging is the lack of control one has over it. The ability for the pollen at the end of the stamen to reach the pistil is completely in nature’s hands. A perfect reminder how special each new vintage really is.

    We’ll check back in soon as fruit set begins to develop.

  • Sugar and Spice – the life of a vine

    If you live in the Western Cape you probably drive by blocks of vineyard every single day. For a few months out of the year they are just sticks, whereas the rest of the year it may just look like a sea of green leaves. Sometimes there may be a team of workers on foot busy in a block, other times it may be a lone tractor driving down the rows.

    But what is actually going on in the vineyard all year? Is it as simple as sticks >>> leaves >>> grapes >>> wine?

    Like anything worth dedicating oneself to, the life cycle of a vine is complex and fascinating. There are decisions being made every single day to not only help the current years crop, but the overall health and success of each vine for vintages to come.

    To take you along on the journey of the vines for a growing season we’d like to introduce you to Sugar and Spice.

    Sugar is a 21 year old Sauvignon Blanc vine planted on one of the highest slopes on the farm in our registered single vineyard Sugarbush block. Sugar is located 8 rows from the lower northeast corner of the block, 5 vines up.

    Spice is also 21 years old but is a Syrah vine located in the sandy soil on the flatter, lower, opposite side of the dam. Spice is 10 rows down from the northeast corner and 6 vines up.

    We’ll be following both throughout the growing season, into harvest and back into winter of 2022.

    After one of the coldest and wettest winters in recent history, the first critical stage in the growing cycle is finally upon us although a few weeks late: bud break.

    The increase in sunshine and warmer temps causes water and stored nutrients to begin flowing up the vines trunk towards dormant buds. The buds begin to swell creating small, hard nodules on the vine. Until finally, they burst.

    Small green grape leaves find their way to the sunshine and the growing season is officially underway. In just a few weeks, these tiny leaves will be long shoots, filled with full size leaves. During this time, shoots can grow as much as 2.5cm per day.

    Terroir, cultivar, and microclimates can all affect the timing of these different stages across the farm. With Sugar, we see quite a few more buds already shooting for the sky. This Sauvignon Blanc block is normally ripe and ready to be picked around early March.

    Spice on the other hand is a bit slower with waking up. There are only a few buds that have broken free at this stage. However, this block of Syrah is normally only ripe and ready to be harvested around early/mid April.

    At this very moment, the vineyards are still sparse. However, in just 10 more days they will be exploding with long, energy-producing shoots as they prepare for the next step: flowering.

    We’ll check back in with Sugar and Spice soon.

  • Cured Meat Pairing

    Earlier this month we introduced you to Richard Bosman in our new Neighbors of Lomond campaign. Bosman’s commitment to his craft and similar philosophies to our own when it comes to the importance of raw materials were big in deciding what cured meats to showcase on our platters.

    However, the greatest asset to having someone like Richard Bosman in our corner is the collaboration and continual pursuit of a better pairing experience for our guests.

    Richard knows our wines well. Every time a new wine is released, we know we can rely on his expertise to tweak and improve our platters and overall tasting room experience.

    Below are 4 of the best and most unique wine and cured meat pairings by the man himself, Richard Bosman. They act as the foundation of our fan-favorite Meat Platter. They can also be experienced anywhere and anytime when you order online at https://www.richardbosman.co.za/

    2018 Belladonna SMV Blend and Salami Vino

    Salami vino is a classic salami made with red wine and aged for 3 months. It is quite rich and flavorful.

    The spice of the Syrah in the Belladonna compliments the pepper in the meat.

    The dark fruit characteristics in the wine allow one to pickup the subtle red wine hints from the making of the salami.

    And finally the body, size, and structure of the wine cut through the fat and allow for many dimensions of the salami to be appreciated.

    2020 Pincushion Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and Coppa

    Coppa is an air dried pork neck with wonderful marbling. The meat is cured with a hint of clove which comes through subtly on the palate.

    The key to this pairing is an acidity on the wine that will cut through the fat on the meat, while complimenting the gentle clove notes layered in the umami flavors of the meat.

    Our biggest, most complex Sauvignon Blanc – the 2020 Pincushion has a beautiful acidity with a complex and layered palate that compliment the coppa’s flavor profile perfectly..

    2018 Phantom Pinot Noir and Lonzino

    Lonzino is a cured pork fillet. Seasoned with a hint of paprika, garlic and rosemary it’s great when sliced a little thicker. This is another meat that is quite elegant and nuanced, which is why the light and fruit Phantom Pinot Noir pairs so beautifully.

    A fairly lean meat, too much tannin in a wine could easily dominate. The silky smooth tannin coating the layers of red fruit one will find on this Pinot Noir act as the perfect match.

    2017 Brut Cap Classique and Prosciutto

    Bosman’s prosciutto is air dried ham made from only the highest quality free range pork. He only works with farmers that do not utilize growth hormones or antibiotics. Gently cured with salt alone to showcase the true, natural flavour of the meat. Less is more is the mantra when making this subtle ham.

    The key to this pairing is to not overpower this nuanced meat. The dryness, crisp acidity, and elegance of a classic Brut compliment this prosciutto perfectly.

  • Neighbors of Lomond – Richard Bosman Quality Cured Meats

    If you’ve been to the farm or know someone who has, surely you’ve heard about our platters. Now cheese boards and charcuterie have become quite popular with wine estates but a Lomond platter is an experience well beyond just a snack with a glass of wine.

    Much like what makes our wines so unique, there is an undeniable sense of place in every item that makes up our platters. Everything from the cheese to the meat is hand selected from a local producer somewhere on the Western Cape that shares our same production philosophies.

    Similar to the subtle variations in our wines from vintage to vintage, our relationship with these quality producers allows for the constant evolution of our platters as they release new or varied products so that we are always in pursuit of the best pairing experience.

    This month we’d like to showcase the man behind one of the main pillars that makes up our platters – Richard Bosman.

    Bosman is a Western Cape native that after leaving the corporate world in the early 2000’s founded a deli in Hermanus. It was during this time he began learning the art of Italian and Spanish style meat curing. In 2009 he opened his factory for Richard Bosman’s Quality Cured Meats.

    Very similar to our winemaking ideology, Richard believes fully in the importance of a quality raw material. His relationships with pig farmers across the Western Cape allow him to source the highest quality, ethically reared meat, where his low-intervention techniques allow for a true sense of place with his final products.

    He only sources pasture raised animals from farms that do not use antibiotics, steroids, or growth hormones. This of course lengthens the breeding cycle but the natural and active lifestyle of the animal is what yields such flavorful, high quality meat.

    Bosman does not believe in mass production. His entire business is built on integrity, quality, and a ‘less is more’ philosophy which resonated with us at the highest level.

    Our platters are one of the pillars of a visit to the Lomond tasting room. Being able to phone someone like Richard when a new vintage of Syrah comes out, for example, and get the insight of an expert to always be improving our pairings is why these platters are so special. And it’s why supporting these local, artisanal producers is so vital to our communities.

    If you’d like to learn more, shop Richard Bosman’s many delicious products, or sign up for his next charcuteries course, visit his website and subscribe: https://www.richardbosman.co.za/

    Stay tuned later this month for some wine and meat pairings recommended by the man himself – Richard Bosman.

  • Conebush – Conservation in Action

    Last year we introduced you to one of our areas conservation heroes, Princess, and her team at Siyanda Alien Clearing. Unfortunately government funding for alien plant clearing has not returned since the start of the pandemic. However, Princess and her team remain hard at work on Lomond. And currently, they are tackling a hillside with 4 different species of Conebush on it, 2 of which have a conservation status of either Endangered or Vulnerable.

    As we near the end of our month-long celebration of Conebush, we wanted to provide an update on one of the most critical and often overlooked conservation projects that is ongoing on the farm.

    On the side of one of the tallest peaks on the farm, overlooking the Lomond dam, resides the Elim (Endangered), Dune (Vulnerable), Sunshine, and Toffee Apple Conebush species.

    Alien plants remain the primary threat to most fynbos in this area and this hillside is no exception.

    For over a month, Princess and her team have been slowly working their way across this hillside clearing out the biggest culprit: Acacia saligna, or Port Jacksons.

    The work is intense, slow, and meticulous – but the results are undeniable.

    Coming to the farm soon? Take a stroll on some of our trails and see if you can spot all 4 Conebush species.

    There is only 1 day left to enjoy R75 OFF per bottle of our Single Vineyard Conebush Syrah. Be sure to take advantage before August 1st.

  • Introducing Merlot Rosé 2021

    With each new vintage, our goal is always to make small improvements in the vineyards and in the winery to ultimately continue making better wines. Winemaking is a game of inches, not miles.

    However, with each new vintage of our Merlot Rosé, the wine seems to be making massive leaps forward. What was once a simple, easy-drinking, ‘fun’ wine has evolved into a Provence-inspired work of art.

    An especially cool and delayed harvest allowed the Merlot to ripen very slow in ’21. The result was perfect phenolic ripening of the grapes, creating those mouth-watering strawberry, watermelon, and candy floss flavors. The chilly temps also kept the natural acidity high in each bunch, creating a youthful zestiness in the wine.

    Elegant, vibrant, and exploding with fruity, candy floss aromas – we are thrilled to introduce the 2021 Merlot Rosé to you. You will taste the progression this stunning wine has made upon opening the first bottle.

    While our Rosé has long been the perfect companion for the beach or pool – this vintage even deserves a place at the dinner table or as a sundowner in front of the fire.

    We hope you enjoy.

  • The Perfect Pairing – Lomond Trout and Sauvignon Blanc

    The Alchemy of Nature is an ethos many find contagious after spending just a single afternoon on the farm. As you sit on the shores of the dam and enjoy the simple pleasures and flavors cultivated in the fynbos-covered hills surrounding, it starts to sink in.

    There’s no better example of this experience than our personal favorite pairing – Lomond Trout and Sauvignon Blanc. Simple yet exquisite, the harmonious combination of flavors between these two Lomond favorites is a testament to the Alchemy of Nature.

    Surely if you’ve visited us, you’ve noticed the trout farm peacefully floating off in the distance on the dam. Owned and operated by Alicia and Albert Kemp from the quaint little village, Baardskeerdersbos down the road from us. Their business, B’Bos Trout, has been in operation since 2008. They are actually one of only a few trout farms still remaining in the Western Cape.

    With each rain, water flows down between the vines and fills the dam. The connection between everything on the farm, as in nature, is vast.

    The trout raised in the dam is of unbelievable quality and freshness, as you enjoy it just 50 meters from where it is raised. The salmon-colored meat is rich and satiating. The depth of flavors in the fish requires nothing more than a pinch of salt and a dash of lemon.

    Given the robust palate one finds with the trout, it makes for the perfect example of the pairing capabilities of our bolder, more complex Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blancs. The tropical notes allow one to better navigate the richness of the trout. The minerality on the finish of the wine acts as a guide to the layers and layers of flavors found within the fish. And finally, the acidity of the wine will find a match with the lemon spritz atop the trout – providing a foundation for the whole experience.

    Whether it be the cold smoke, hot smoke, or trout paté – the experience of combining all of these farm-fresh flavors is why we love what we do. Experience it for yourself next time you come for a visit 🥂

    What is your favorite meal to pair with one of our Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blancs? Comment below and win a free bottle of Pincushion if we pick yours for our next pairing feature.

  • Fighting for Fynbos

    Happy New Year, everyone. What a year it was. For many, ourselves included, 2020 brought challenges unlike anything experienced before. And while we welcome the new beginning – 2021 is a blank canvas rather than a solution. What we make of it is entirely up to us.

    In November last year we introduced you to Princess. Together, with the help of your Sauvignon Blanc orders, we were able to hire her and her team for 12 weeks.

    In this time they cleared thousands of alien plants that had all but won the fight with the indigenous fynbos. Today, 12 of the 16 hectare, high-priority section on Lomond has been saved.

    A quick walk through the cleared area makes it clear why these efforts are so critical. Within 20 minutes of exploration, 8 different indigenous fynbos species ranging from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable were identified. Every one of them is facing decreasing populations with the #1 reason the same: habitat loss due to alien plant species.

    Leucadendron elimense – Status: Endangered, Population: Decreasing
    Protea aspera – Status: Vulnerable, Population: Decreasing
    Leucospermum prostratum – Status: Vulnerable, Population: Decreasing
    Osyris speciosa – Status: Vulnerable, Population: Decreasing
    Protea subulifolia – Status: Threatened, Population: Decreasing
    Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron – Status: Vulnerable, Population: Decreasing
    Serruria rubricaulis – Status: Near threatened, Population: Decreasing
    Aulax umbellata – Status: Near threatened, Population: Decreasing

    With 4 more hectares still to go, the fight doesn’t stop there. All of these sections now need to be revisited several times to stop any new alien growth or risk falling right back into the dire conditions they were in just a few months ago.

    The fight against aliens is daunting. It is thankless. And it is hard work. However, it’s worth it. Our goal is to keep Princess and her team employed and fighting into 2021.

    If you are able, we ask that you join us in this fight and help us protect South Africa’s beautiful fynbos for generations to come.

    * Donation:
  • November for Good

    2020 has been anything but conventional. It has had many of us reprioritizing the things that matter most in life. As Black Friday nears, it was clear we needed to take a different approach this year. One that aligned better with the core values of Lomond which are conservation and community.

    We would like to introduce you to Princess. She is a businesswoman, a conservationist, and a role model for many young women in the Gansbaai area. Her company, Siyanda Alien Clearing, is committed to fighting one of the greatest threats to fynbos: the invasion of alien plant species. She has been battling these invasive plants for 16 years and employs a team of 10 women. Rather than a manager, she acts as a mentor to the members of her team – teaching and empowering them to grow and one day become their own boss, just like she has done.

    Since lockdown, nearly all funding for alien clearing has been halted, leaving Princess and her team out of work. Since most of her workers are the primary source of income for their families, you can imagine the hardship they’ve been facing.

    Further, these alien plants have not slowed their spread with the pandemic. Instead, they’ve taken full advantage of the absence of Princess and her team.

    There are a number of fynbos species that are found nowhere else on earth beyond the borders of Lomond. They exist right here, above the vines, and nowhere else.

    Knowing this and the obvious hardship such a special member of our community has been facing, we hired Princess and her team last month to exclusively tackle a problematic area of the farm where we have started to lose the fight to aliens.

    In just 4 weeks, they have made incredible progress and shown sunlight to fynbos that was nearly lost.

    It is hard and often thank-less work. It’s a never-ending task. However, it is critical for the conservation of fynbos.

    So like many things this year, the old idea of Black Friday just doesn’t add up anymore. Moments are more important than things. Outdoors are far superior to indoors. And we are encouraging everyone to trade the mall for the hills. Grab a nice bottle of wine and head into nature with loved ones.

    And with that, we will be allocating 10% of every bottle of Sauvignon Blanc sold, for the rest of the month, towards this conservation initiative.

  • 2020 Lomond Open Water Swim

    13 December, 2020

    Finish your year well by participating in the Lomond Open Water Swim taking place on Sunday 13 December 2020!

    Whilst you are very close to South Africa’s Great White Shark capital, you will be safe while swimming in a beautiful freshwater dam surrounded by vineyards and fynbos valleys. An absolute treat as swimming in this dam is only allowed at these events.

    This is a Swimming South Africa Sanctioned event organized with the Western Cape Aquatics Open Water Board giving the opportunity to our Athletes to gain qualifying times for SA OWS Nationals.