Just for fun

Visit from The Inter College Business School

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Bart Van Den Dries, our importer from the Netherlands with some of the students from The Inter College Business School B.V visited us here at Merwida Winery.


#CelebrateBreedekloof – A Whole Month Of Celebrations and Wine

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For a whole month, the Breedekloof Wine Valley will celebrate all it has accomplished this year. Join us for #CelebrateBreedekloof and experience some of the best wines in the country! And what’s the best of it all – you will be able to taste Merwida’s wines from 10am until 4pm, on Saturdays!


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Dog Detectives

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“DOGS can be used as

pest and disease detectors in vineyards,

according to a Melbourne University researcher.”


Article from TheWeeklyTimes

Sonja Needs, a lecturer and tutor in wine, climate change, adaptation and animal science, says dogs can detect for beehive collapse, termites and fire ants.

Ms Needs, who worked at CSIRO and has a background in winemaking, said the major advantage dogs had as a detection tool was they were versatile and fast.

“Dogs have a greater sensitivity to volatile molecules than most mobile gas chromatography detectors, and they can sort and discriminate scents where machines have difficulty,” she said.

“We start the dogs off on a neutral substance, a specific volatile substance that they will not encounter elsewhere once in their environment.

“Once they’re reliable on the first odour, we can shift them on to whatever substance that we want.”

Ms Needs started detector research and training with her late German Shepherd Luther and now her Border Terrier, Keely.

Ms Needs and Luther volunteered for search and rescue but Luther developed degenerative canine myelopathy, a condition similar to motor neurone disease.

“Luther was still mentally fine but physically was not able to do the search and rescue,” she said.

Ms Needs started researching using dogs as detectors.

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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:

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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


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!

Via VINEPAIR Read the rest of this entry »

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.


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… Ecosalon.com 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.

Wine Legs

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While searching for info on the legs of wine, we came across two rather interesting articles:


The legs of wine are the streaks of wine forming on the side of the wine glass.

This phenomenon is caused by the lower surface tension and faster evaporation of alcohol. Legs tell us about alcohol content and colour depth

The legs were once thought to be associated with a wine’s quality (the more legs, the higher the quality). However, the legs have more to do with physics, the wine’s surface tension and alcohol content, than perceived quality.

Wine is a mixture of alcohol and water, the alcohol has a faster evaporation rate and a lower surface tension than water, effectively forcing the alcohol to evaporate at a faster rate. This dynamic allows the water’s surface tension and concentration to increase, pushing the legs up the glass until the surface tension pushes the water into beads. Finally, gravity wins the battle and forces the liquid to tear down the glass in a defeated streak.

Source: wine.about.com



We want to clear something up right now: wine legs don’t matter.

In fact, in all of our years involved in wine, we’ve never met anyone who could read them correctly. Nor could they explain why they believe they matter. But, just in case you encounter someone who wants to talk about legs, and claims to understand them, here’s a quick explanation so you’re prepared.

Wine legs, also referred to by the French as the “tears of a wine,” are the droplets or streaks of water that form on the inside of a wine glass as you move the wine around. While some people think these legs relate to the quality, sweetness or viscosity of the wine, THEY DO NOT. In fact, wine legs are just a representation of how much alcohol is in a wine. That said, we have never met anyone who could correctly “read” those legs and then tell us the level of alcohol in the wine. And why should they bother when the alcohol percentage is already printed on the wine label?

So while wine legs look beautiful in a glass as they streak down the sides, don’t worry about reading them, as they don’t matter. Just enjoy the wine and the visual!

Mr. Robot, the Winemaker

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Technology is making everyday tasks easier and quicker, and the wine industry is no exception. The new invention is a robot that takes care of all the processes transforming grapes into wine.

The Italian wine researchers Enosis Meraviglia are making a bold attempt to dominate the world of wine production through the introduction of the Genesis wine robot, which will be responsible for the initial stage of producing wine.


“In order to beat the world competition it is necessary to aim for exclusiveness. In order to achieve exclusivity it is essential to acquiesce to research, as only with the aid of research can we secure and value the exclusivity of tradition,” says the statement on the official website of the winery.

To do this the company decided to turn the initial stages of its wine production over to robots.

The Genesis wine robot, created by wine-maker Donato Lanati, the founder of the company’s research center, looks like it’s come straight from the Star Wars set. It is a metal tank with numerous sensors and antennas attached to it.

The tank is able to store up to 200 kilograms of grapes, from which is will make 100 liters of wine for further processing.

The robot weighs the grapes, squeezes them and measures how much juice it creates. The scientists say that according to the information Genesis gives it, they can learn much about the variety of the grape and the region it comes from.

The initial raw wine produced by the robot further ferments in a so-called “psychedelic laboratory”, a sort of incubator, so-called due to the numerous colored lamps placed inside it.

The laboratory maintains the right temperature needed to process the wine and has special equipment inside which constantly gathers information on its biochemistry.

After this, the wine is aged in a special dark, chilled cellar.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/science/20160305/1035834564/italy-robot-wine-processing.html#ixzz42Zkay4UP