It’s almost Heritage Day!

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Are you stocked up yet?

Wood? Firelighters? Braaivleis? Wine?

Tomorrow is #NationalBraaiDay and we hope you are ready! If not, please feel free to visit our wine sales tomorrow between 9am and 1pm to make sure you have the perfect wine for this special occasion.

With it being #HeritageMonth, we would like to remind you of the rich history of Merwida, but first:

Meet Johannes Carolus, or “Boetie” as we call him. Boetie is one of the cellar workers at Merwida and has been working here for almost 10 years. He is also responsible for hoisting the flags every morning. This morning, we decided to celebrate #HeritageMonth with brand new flags, and as always, Boetie was on point:

*According to our calculations, this was the 4838th time Boetie has hoisted our two Merwida and two South African flags.

Herewith a reminder of Merwida’s heritage:

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Wood It?

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How long has this wine had wood contact? But why?


Wooded wines are not only recognizable by the price difference when compaired to unwooded wines, but mostly by the different flavours that are enhanced by the wood component. WineFolly posted a very insightful blog about How Wine Barrels Affect the Taste of Wine, and we would like to highlight a few main points for you.

Be sure to read the full story here.

How Do Oak Barrels Help Wine?

Oak offers three major contributions to wine:

  1. It adds flavor compounds–including aromas of vanilla, clove, smoke and coconut.
  2. It allows the slow ingress of oxygen–a process which makes wine taste smoother and less astringent.
  3. It provides a suitable environment for certain metabolic reactions to occur (specifically Malolactic Fermentation)–which makes wines taste creamier.


What Flavors Does it Add?

Unlike beer, wine does not allow flavor additives (i.e. coriander, orange peel, etc). Thus, oak has become the accepted way to affect the taste of wine. When added to wine, oak flavors combine with wine flavors to create a wide variety of new potential flavors.

The Differences of New vs Used Oak and Aging

Just like tea, oak flavor extraction is reduced each time it’s used. You’ll also notice that aging periods vary depending on the winemaker’s preference as well as the type of wine.

Size Matters: The larger the barrel used, the less oak lactones and oxygen are imparted into a wine. Barriques are traditionally 225 liters, whereas Botti and Foudres are much larger – from about 1000–20,000 liters.

Different kinds of oak used for winemaking

There are 2 primary species preferred for winemaking: Quercus alba or American white oak and Quercus petrea or European white oak. Each species offers slightly different flavor profiles. Additionally, the climate where the oak grows also affects flavors. So for example, wines aged in Quercus petrea from Allier, France will taste different from wines aged in Quercus petrea from the Zemplen Mountains forest in Hungary.

  • European (French) Oak Found in France, Hungary, Slavonia (Croatia)
  • American Oak Found in Missouri and the midwest

Difference between American and European (French) Oak

The major distinguishable physical difference between the wine oak species is its density. European oak tends to be more dense (closer spaced rings) which has been suggested to impart less oak lactones and oxygen than American oak. Generally speaking, American oak is ideal for bolder, more structured wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah) that can handle American oak’s robust flavors and oxygen ingress, whereas European oak is ideal for lighter wines (such as Pinot Noir or Chardonnay) that require more subtlety.

Here at Merwida, most of our wooded wines are aged in French Oak barrels, except for our lightly wooded Chardonnay, which is aged in American Oak.

Have any questions on our wines? Please feel free to email us

No Phone

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Due to cabletheft, our landline is not working at the moment.

Please contact us on 074 101 0421 or

Yay to Cabernet!

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Happy #CabernetThursday!

We are celebrating with a few facts from WineFolly

  • Cabernet has its own official holiday–the Thursday before Labor Day

  • Cabernet Sauvignon is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc

  • Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted wine grape in the world (~720,000 acres)

  • It has higher levels of an aroma compound called Methoxypyrazine which is why it’s noted for aromas of black pepper, green peppercorn, black currant and sometimes even bell pepper

  • Cabernet Sauvignon is a half-sibling of Merlot, Hondarribi Beltza (from Basque Country) and Carménère

  • It is included in the Bordeaux blend, Meritage blend, Supertuscan blend, and CMS blend

  • Wineries in Napa Valley pay more on average for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes than they do for other grapes

  • Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines are tracked and traded like stocks

  • It is the most planted variety in Chile

  • It is one of the most important varieties in China

  • It is the most reviewed red wine variety in Wine Spectator’s database

  • There’s a reason why it tastes great with steak… Read more


Super Soetes & Soup 2016

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We had a great time at this year’s Soetes & Soup festival, and we hope you did too!

We would like to thank the following people who made the event even better:

And of course, all who supported us – we hope to see you again soon!

For those who thoroughly enjoyed our Mexican Meatball Soup, you can download the recipes below:

Mexican Meatball Soup

Mexican Meatball Soup Bulk

All photos will be uploaded onto our Facebook Page soon.


Tannins (for dummies)

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As a wine drinker, you might have come accross a discussion of a wine’s “tannins”, and although you noddingly approved on everything they said, no one has ever really explained what tannins are. Luckily, we’ve got your back!


You experience the effect of tannins any time you drink a wine that creates a drying sensation in your mouth.

Tannins are naturally occurring compounds that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems. The scientific word for these compounds is polyphenols. Polyphenols release from the skins, seeds and stems when they soak in the grape juice just after the grapes have been pressed and are what give certain wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, their characteristic dryness or astringency.

Depending on how dry your mouth feels, you can determine whether a wine is high or low in tannins. We say a wine that is high in tannins is tannic.

What makes a wine have strong or weak tannins depends on how long the juice sits with the grape skins, seeds and stems after the grapes have been pressed. The longer the skins, seeds and stems soak in the juice, the more tannin characteristics they will impart. This explains why red wines have stronger tannins than white wines. When producing a red wine, the winemaker wants the skins to impart more color, thereby adding more tannins to the juice. Further, by extracting the characteristics of tannins, they are able to add deeper complexity to the wine.

Winemakers also love tannins because they work as a natural antioxidant to protect the wine. This is actually a key reason why certain red wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, can be so age-worthy. And, as we know, antioxidants aren’t just useful for helping us age wine; they also have great health benefits for humans! Now you can tell your nutritionist there’s no need to keep drinking that pomegranate juice; you’re just going to have a nice glass of red wine instead!

The only downside to tannins is that they can give some people headaches. A good way to test if you’re susceptible to tannin headaches is to determine whether or not similar substances that are strong in tannins, such as dark chocolate and strong black tea, produce the same effect. Tannin headaches are rare, usually we just get a wine headache from consuming too much, but if you do realize you suffer from them, sticking to white wine, which is very low in tannins, would solve your tannin-triggered headaches!

Other items with tannins

Via Wikipedia

  • Pomegranates
  • Berries (such as cranberries, strawberries and blueberries)
  • Nuts (such as raw hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans, almonds)
  • Herbs and spices (Cloves, tarragon, cumin, thyme, vanilla, and cinnamon)
  • Legumes (Red-colored beans contain the most tannins, and white-colored beans have the least. Peanuts without shells have a very low tannin content. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) have a smaller amount of tannins.)
  • Chocolate (Chocolate liquor contains about 6% tannins.)
  • Tea & Coffee
  • Fruit juices (Although citrus fruits do not themselves contain tannins, orange-colored juices often contain food dyes with tannins. Apple juice, grape juices and berry juices are all high in tannins. Sometimes tannins are even added to juices and ciders to create a more astringent feel to the taste)
  • Beer

VineAdvisor also has the following to add:

While tea and wine have the highest source of tannins, all plants and fruits contain tannins, and they act as a defense mechanism. The tannins prevent the plant, fruit, or flower from being eaten by other animals. The bitter taste and interference with starch digestion usually make the plant unpalatable to many animals.

Tannins are excellent antioxidants. And studies also suggest that when consumed in moderation, tannins lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer, stimulate the immune system, have anti-bacterial properties, and have benefits for the skin.

It is the tannins in wine and tea that give it its flavor and aftertaste. In fact, some of the most remarkable wines are immensely tannic because tannins enhance the flavor of wine and tea by adding structure to the beverage.


White… Red… Pink… and blue?

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By now you’ve probably heard of the latest craze in the wine industry – blue wine…

Gïk, a Spanish startup company is hoping to redefine your drinking experience by opening the world to other colour wines. Though they’ve created quite a stir with their blue wine, the chances for other coloured wines to soon reach our shelves are inevitable. Their reason for choosing the colour blue, is explained below.

But what we would like to focus on, is IF the general public will actually buy it before tasting it. Of course the idea of something this way out of the box is quite appealing to many people, but would the average wine drinker spend their money on a wine the is of this unusual colour?

Please complete our poll at the end of the post.

Source: The following information was found on the website of the company

It’s not about grapes, it’s about the people

Our wine comes from different Spanish and French vineyards, whose grapes we transform into Gïk. That’s right: we work with grapes from different areas of Spain, whose color and flavor we improve through food tech. We choose these wineries in terms of the people who work them and their innovative nature. That’s why Gïk has no denomination of origin, but a guarantee of quality and unique flavor.

Why blue?

We are not vintners. We are creators. So we sought the most traditional and closed minded industry out there. Once having selected the wine industry as our battlefield, we set about creating a radically different product, changing the colour to a vibrant blue and making the wine sweeter and easier to drink.When we started to work on our project we came across a book called The Blue Ocean Strategy. This explained that there are red oceans, full of sharks which have torn the little fish so much that they’ve tinted the water red. Then there are blue oceans, where there is no competition and fish swim unharassed. Thus the poetic idea of transforming a red ocean into a blue ocean through changing the most traditional red liquid into blue was one which greatly appealed to us.

Apart from that, in psychology blue represents movement, innovation and infinity. It’s also a colour frequently associated with flow and change.


Gïk is produced through a pigmentation process. Firstly a base is created from a mixture of red and white grapes, which is then added to two organic pigments; indigo and anthocyanin – which comes from the very skin of the grapes used to make wine.

We’ve spent the last two years conducting research in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country and Food Tech. research departments. Quality control checks are rigorous and all the elements used comply with the regulations for food products in the European Union.

No added sugar

Gïk carries no added sugars.

Why? Firstly because sugar ferments and turns into alcohol inside the bottle. Secondly, because excess of fast carbs leads to overweight, while non-caloric sweeteners are a healthier and more stable choice.

Our processes are safely regulated and have received the approval of institutions such as the European Food Safety Authority, who evaluate the terms of use of all compounds.


Soetes & Soup 2016

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It’s time to get your tickets for the annual Soetes & Soup festival!

Please remember that tickets are limited and only available on

or Pick n Pay.

No tickets on the day.




Unusual uses for wine

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You might have left a bottle of wine open for too long, or opened one that’s been corked – no worries, it’s still very useful… found 20 unusual uses for wine, and chose our favourites.

Fabric dye

If you’ve ever spilled red wine on fabric, you know how well the color holds on to just about any type of material. You can use virtually any type of red wine to dye fabric as long as you’re open to experimentation when it comes to the result, which could range from pale pink to deep mauve or even gray. Heat the wine to simmering in a big soup pot on the stove top, add your fabric, stir with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Rinse the fabric well.

Skin softener

All of those antioxidants that make red wine a healthy beverage may also provide benefits when applied directly to the skin. Some women recommend using red wine as a toner, which may help smooth and refine skin thanks to the acidity which is similar to that of vinegar. Actress Teri Hatcher reportedly pours a glass of red wine into her bath water, and in India, wine has many beauty uses, like softening and brightening the skin in spa facials.


Clean fruits and vegetables

Just like baking soda, wine can be used as a natural fruit and vegetable cleaner. The alcohol in the wine dissolves impurities on the surface, and according to a 2005 study by Mark Daeschel of Oregon State University, components in wine kill several types of foodborne pathogens like salmonella and E. coli.


Glass cleaner

Spoiled white wine is on its way to being vinegar, so naturally it works like a charm on dirty glass. Add a few tablespoons to a spray bottle of water, apply to windows and mirrors and wipe with a newspaper.

Fruit fly trap

Few things are more tempting to pesky fruit flies than an aromatic glass of red wine. Use this attraction to your advantage and soon these unwanted guests will disappear from your kitchen. Just pour a half-inch of red wine into a glass and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Then, poke a few small holes in the wrap, which will let the flies in, but won’t allow them to exit.

Remove grease stains

Pour leftover white wine onto grease and oil stains on garage floors and driveways, and the alcohol and acidity will help them dissipate.

Heal bruises

An old folk remedy recommends soaking a piece of bread in wine and then applying it to a bruise to help it heal faster. Does it really work? It’s hard to say, but there may be some science to support this theory. Wine is rich in flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have a number of beneficial effects on the body, including soothing inflamed tissue.


Meat marinade

Not only does red wine make steak extra-flavorful, it may reduce cancer-causing compoundsnaturally found in meats. Frying and grilling meat at high temperatures turns sugars and amino acids of muscle tissue into carcinogenic compounds, but marinating steak in red wine for at least six hours before cooking can reduce two types of carcinogens by up to 90 percent. Use about a cup of red wine, a cup of olive oil and the seasonings of your choice like garlic, parsley and peppercorns.

Turn it into jelly

Your choice of wine, some sugar and a pouch of liquid pectin are all it takes to make a customized flavor of wine jelly. Who wouldn’t like a little homemade champagne jelly with strawberries on their morning toast? Instructables has the details, which simply requires a few pots and some canning jars.



Boost brainpower

Two new studies have shown that polyphenols in wine (and chocolate!) increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, boosting cognitive ability. The effect gets even more beneficial as you age, since there is a natural reduction in blood supply around the brain later in life. All the more reason to have a glass of ‘medicine’ and a little dessert every chance you get.




Power Prince Charles’ Aston Martin

If you’re loaded like Prince Charles, you can use wine to power your ultra-pricey vintage Aston Martin. The British king-in-waiting converted his 38-year-old car to run on biofuel made from surplus wine as a way to reduce his carbon emissions. Of course, we plebes can apply this to our own lives (and less fancy cars) by purchasing pre-made wine bio-ethanol or even possiblymaking it ourselves.

2016 Harvest Report

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We had a chat with our cellar master/winemaker/viticulturist, Magnus Kriel about this year’s harvest season:


What was the total tonnages harvested for 2016?

17365 tons

What was the average tonnages per day?

395 t/day

Percentage red and white grapes?

32% red and 68% white

How does this year’s harvest totals compare to those of 2015?

The crop is almost 16% higher than the vintage of 2015,  2400 tons more.

What do you think is the reason for this?

Mostly due to new plantings coming in to bear. Also we had a terrible Colombar season in 2015 and alone on Colombar we picked 1000 tons more this year, this variety is actually back to normal now and contribute to almost 20% of the total production.

How does the white and red tonnages differ from last year?

Percentage wise it is more or less the same, no significant differences.

Were there any new cultivars harvested this year? If so, how did they perform and are you excited about the outcome?

No new ones, just a couple of cultivars only this year in full production and are showing some real potential, for example the Petit Shyrah.

Did the drought affect Merwida’s harvest?

We managed to irrigate all our vineyards right to the end of harvest. I would say the unknown continuous heat affected the flavours a lot more than in 2015. Drought played a minor role, although some farms and some blocks were affected more than others where the full irrigation cycle per week was cut into half due to low water levels in dams.

Merwida had a very good year in 2015 regarding awards. Do you think this year’s harvest is of the same quality, and which wines are standing out for you?

Personally I feel that 2015 was much better than 2016. The early 2016 varietals, like the Sauvignon blanc, first Chenin’s and Chardonnay looks promising as well as the reds, but the gross white looks pretty average. It was also a tough year in terms of vinification and the chemical composition of the grapes due to the abnormal weather phenomena – it really put our winemaking knowledge to the test.

What is your overall experience of the 2016 harvest and your predictions for the 2017 harvest?

All and all it was satisfactory enough. I have absolutely no idea what to expect for 2017! Only the weather conditions that lies ahead and time will tell…

For our 2015 harvest report, click here