Pieter Walzer – owner and winemaker of BLANKbottle tells the story of how BLANKbottle started: ‘In 2004, a lady came to my house (then also my office) to buy wine. She asked for anything but Shiraz. “I don’t drink Shiraz”, were her exact words. I poured her a glass of wine. She loved it and bought three cases. It was a straight Shiraz.’
He says that when he started BLANKbottle, his goal was ‘to create an honest wine brand that had no limitations when it came to style, vintage, area or cultivars in order to break down any preconceived expectations’. He believes that not identifying the cultivar on the label makes this possible and that it also demands complete honesty regarding quality. It also allows him the opportunity to introduce once-off limited runs of interesting wines and that this flexibility is what gives BLANKbottle its edge and offers something for those with an open mind and adventurous heart.
Pieter calls Offspring ‘the child of Dad: Orbitofrontal Cortex, and Mom: Limbic’. He insists that this does not mean leftovers thrown together and that, if a component does not measure up, it gets sold as bulk wine. Offspring is a thoughtful blend of components, made separately. As the grapes came into the winery, they were pressed and the juice went straight to tank. It received no additions and from there went to older French oak barrels where it underwent spontaneous fermentation, stayed in barrel for one year, received a small amount of sulphur, was blended and, finally, bottled.
‘Clothes maketh not the man; judge my wines on what’s in the bottle, not the varietal on the label’, insists Pieter.