From Mons Mensa to Matzikamma – breaking the silence…

The Matzikamma Mountain

The Matzikamma Mountain

Mons Mensa - Latin for Table Mountain
Mons Mensa – Latin for Table Mountain


Most wineries today put a lot of effort into their social media campaigns. Like them, I also wanted to explore the possibilities of social media. Not having much experience on the subject, apart from reading a number of blogs, I thought it good to attend a blogging workshop. I was inspired to get going after an afternoon of blogging tips and, amongst other things, some advice from master wine blogger Michael Back from Backsberg. A week or so later I uploaded the video explaining the idea behind Cecilia. 

Some of the advice we were given that afternoon was that a good blog was honest as well as regular. Honest I have been, but not regular. The question is now: is it too late or not to carry on “blogging”? 

Let me try to salvage the situation by mentioning the events that caused the post drought:

I mentioned the Master of Wine course in a previous post. At the time of starting Cecilia‘s blog, it was not long before I was suppose to attend a MW seminar in Australia. Just prior to leaving for Oz however, there was a life changing event: My time at Seidelberg had come to an end. I had accepted a wine making position at Klawer’s Trawal Winery in the Olifant’s River. “Why such a move?”, you might wonder. The answer is something other than wine, love…

Therefore, after returning from Oz, there was a week or so to end off what seem to have been the first chapter of my time spent as a wine maker. Where we handled 800 tons of predominantly red varietals in Seidelberg’s cellar, I would now be responsible for 8000 tons of white grapes. A daunting prospect.

Soon I was in the thick of things, desperately trying to make the best of a very challenging situation. Thankfully, there came a time when all the grapes had to be picked and I could regroup. From that moment though, I had to get my nose stuck in the books, the MW exam being less than three months away at that point in time.

Cecilia was another matter. Klawer was very open to the project, thus becoming Cecilia’s new home. Since the first vintage was made from grapes from Seidelberg’s vineyards, the question was now where to find grapes for the next vintages. A small amount of Shiraz from the South Coast, as well as some Mourvèdre from Wellington, were eventually vinified for the 2010 vintage. This new arrangement held the promise of new possibilities, but also some serious challenges. In many ways it was a new beginning.  

The MW exam took place in London during the first week of June and although I came close to passing the theory, I failed the exam. It was disappointing but not unexpected.

Back at home it was time to organize another big event: a wedding. I married the man I followed to the Olifant’s River in December last year. A happy ending to a very eventful year! 

All of the above, as well as a second vintage (2011) at Trawal, brings us more or less up to where we are today…


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