Laibach presents The Ladybird 2004

Organically grown grapes express varietal character at its finest and this wine is a unique individual expression of fruit and the art of our winemakers. It was certified by SGS, the global leader in verification, testing and certification services. At Laibach, we are committed to producing wines of outstanding quality which best reflect the unique terroir of the Simonsberg ward, one of South Africa’s prime winegrowing areas for noble cultivars. Our style is a blend of tradition and innovation, with a philosophy of continuous improvement. Deep red soils anchor the vines at Laibach where no irrigation is required. Forty hectares of vineyards are planted on the north-east facing slopes of the Simonsberg which offer an excellent angle for sun exposure, the key to photosynthetic efficiency and flavour development. Since 1994, the entire vineyard has been replanted to virus-free material. With meticulous pruning we limit each vine to an average of 16 buds versus the typical 36 buds per vine. To grow organic grapes without herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilisers is a huge challenge for us but for a small winery like ours only quality winemaking makes sense. The main advantage of organic growing is that there are far fewer chemical residues in the soil, atmosphere, groundwater and the wine itself. Organic vineyard management is based on farming fundamentals: building organic matter in soil with cover crops, controlling weeds by physical means, encouraging natural air flow around the fruit and welcoming the natural enemies of vineyard pests by seeding fennel and yarrow around the vineyards as an inviting breeding ground for them. We have named this wine The Ladybird because ladybirds are the natural enemies of mealybugs, one of the biggest pests threatening the vines. The organic grapes for this wine were handpicked in the early morning, crushed, destemmed and pumped to open fermentation tanks. Fermentation lasted 10-12 days with regular manual punch downs and pump overs. Fermentation was followed by extended maceration before pressing. The wine was blended after fermentation. This blend of merlot (47%), cabernet franc (31%) and cabernet sauvignon (22%) was aged for 13 months in selected small, tight-grain French oak barrels. The wine retails for R65 (incl VAT) from the farm.

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