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Does Winter make farming idle?

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

As we are now deep into Winter, some of you wine enthusiasts may wonder what vineyards are doing and whether the people there just all go for holidays. We would like to provide you an excerpt of a write-up by Donum, the winery we so proudly represent since December:

During Winter month, the vines are bare, the air is quiet, and the earth is cold. However, there is an incredible amount of activities happening beneath that is unseen. The soil is alive and active, prepping for the growing season to come.

The California wild flower blend provides a habitat for beneficial insects while the leguminous crops store nutrients that are later released into the soil, and the structure building plants help aerate the soil and create pathways for micro-organisms to travel. At Donum, soil health is at the forefront of our principles and cover crops play an important role in preparing the soil for the new season. Planting beneficial plants between the vineyard rows helps to support a healthy ecosystem and is an important step in our commitment to biodiversity and regenerative farming practices. Our cover crop mix is specific to each vineyard block as the soil varies in composition and available nutrients. As Tony Chapman (Director of Winemaking) remarks: “Cover cropping is one of the most underestimated tools in building soil health. The benefit of farming using cover crops is immense. From improving soil health and increasing water holding capacity to adding to biodiversity, all contribute to healthy vines that produce excellent wines.”

With Chinese New Year fast approaching, kids are excited about the prospect of enjoying the great festive food and the amount of lai see they would get. You may want to take a look at your wine cellar whether you need replenishment. Foremost, check out our Donum collection which include the 2017 Russian River Valley Estate Chardonnay (JS95 at $580), the 2016 Anderson Valley Estate Pinot Noir (JS96 at $680), the 2016 Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir (JS95 at $680) and the 2016 West Slope Reserve Pinot Noir (JS95 at $1,000)

Our other suggestions are:

2017 Dumol Chardonnay Estate (WA96) at $650/bottle – Californian Chardonnay that absolutely explodes in the mouth with ripe fruits, citrus, flowers and evolving to an energetic finish.

2017 Catena White Stones Chardonnay (WA97) at $580/bottle – Argentinian white at this price? You wonder. But Catena is a top estate making just over 6,000 bottles of the White Stones Chardonnay, a great wine giving a palate of intensity and minerality. Definitely worth trying…

2009 Laforge (RP96) at $550/bottle – Our previous inventory of this excellent Bordeaux red sold out very quickly and we are re-stocking. This is a massive and yet harmonious wine providing notes of blackberry, blueberry, licorice, camphor and black truffle.

2009 Pichon Lalande (WA97) at $1,350/bottle – This Bordeaux estate needs no introduction. The 2009 vintage is a medium to full bodied red, with notions of black cherry, black currant, plum and a hint of damp soil and tobacco, all drawing to a long and lively finish.

2014 M. Chapoutier St. Joseph Le Clos (WA95) at $660/bottle – Full bodied red from Northern Rhone, beautifully concentrated and impeccably balanced, with notes of blackberry, crushed flowers and graphite.

2010 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve (RP96) at $800/bottle – Top wine from this popular Napa producer, one which is full bodied, rich and offers notes of pencil shavings, crème de cassis, subtle smoke, rock on top of black fruits.

2018 Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz (WA98) at $480/bottle – From Barossa Valley (South Australia) and certainly one of the best Shiraz examples of this vintage, it is full bodied and concentrated, with a whirlwind of black and red fruits, mocha and dry spices, and finishing long and savory.

2009 Rieussec (WA98) at $360/bottle – For anybody who is thinking of a sweet wine, this stunning Sauterne from the sister estate of the great Lafite Rothschild is a no brainer. It sings of crème caramel, chopped nuts, baked apples and spiced pears with hints of jasmine, peach blossoms and beeswax. Full-bodied, rich and decadently creamy in the mouth, the multilayered palate is beautifully lifted with fantastic freshness.

Thank you for reading as we would also encourage you to browse our website to view our full wine list. Purchases can be made through this online platform, by sending us an e-mail or just WhatsApp to 9195-7383. We wish you all the best for the Year of the Ox.


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