There’s always something new at the Absa Cape Epic – and during the 2014 prologue the riders helped press some grapes for the Meerendal Wine Estate. – By Chris Whitfield
Next Sunday those of the 1200 starters who make it to the finish will be presented with a bottle of wine made from those same grapes.
Thousands of the pinotage grapes were packed into large reinforced plastic bags and laid across a 10 metre section of the course – as the riders emerged from the part of the ride that took them through the Meerendal Manor House they rode across them.
“We picked them late last night so that they were nice and cold,” explained Meerendal cellar master Liza Goodwin. “Afterwards we’ll let them ferment for two days and we’ll bottle the wine on Wednesday.”
This would require a process to stop the fermentation on Tuesday and the addition of some “normal mix” to make the wine less sweet – the short fermentation period would produce a “sweetish red”.
The wine will be labelled as “Bigfeet – pressed by bikes” and Goodwin said there would be a few bottles left over after the Epic that would be sold.
The idea, she said, was the brainchild of Meerendal owner Herman Coertze. And in case anybody might suggest he was getting the riders to do his work, Coertze was among the riders taking on the eight days of the Cape Epic – and pressing the grapes – yesterday.
Source: Purple Pine PR