“For a start, you have to realise that at the time (2013) I didn’t have a budget for a vineyard consultant. So I was forced to be creative. Strategic vineyard-site selection is where all wine begins. I was mostly focussed on many unusual varietals of which there were very little on offer, so in a way it made it easy to choose a site. You take what you can get.
But I wanted to start making Bordeaux – stuff like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The Helderberg has many plantings but I didn’t have a clue how to separate the chaff from the wheat. And no money to pay someone to do it for me.
So this one particular day I was driving past a vineyard and saw something strange: the picking team was wearing white surgical gloves! I pulled off the road and asked the pickers who they were picking for. At the time there were rumours going round about these guys and I knew that they were spending obscene amounts of cash on local and international consultants in areas like viticulture and soil science – basically terroir fundi’s. Their ultimate goal: to sift through the huge amount of Bordeaux vineyards on offer to pick only the very best. So I asked the farmer if I could buy the grapes as close as possible to the piece going to the White Gloves.
This is my confession about how I started chasing the White Gloves. Where they bought, I bought as close to them as possible. Sometimes right next to them. It was that simple. My creative low-budget strategy.
Confessions of a White Glove Chaser 2020: In short, 55% Cabernet franc with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot – all from the Helderberg
The label: I traced the shape of my (at the time) 8-year-old son’s hand and using linography, created the image for the label. The wine, like all my wines: made, hand bottled and hand labeled – by the colourful people of South Africa.” – Winemaker’s notes