Saturday, August 24, 2013

Get To Know... Bertus Albertyn

Photo courtesy Maverick Estate Winery
Bertus Albertyn
Vintner, Maverick Estate Winery
Golden Mile Bench, BC

South African transplant Bertus Albertyn may be best known in BC as Burrowing Owl's long serving winemaker who recently left his post at the famed Black Sage Bench property heading to the other side of the valley in order to focus on building his own label: Maverick Estate Winery. His new venture launched with 3 impressive whites all worth a taste and forthcoming red wine releases are sure to have been handled with the same attention to detail that helped make the Burrowing Owl reds collectable commodities.

Get to know Bertus a bit better and get to know Maverick Estate Winery's wines...

Key wines to try
Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Pinot Gris 2011
Origin 2011

1. What do you enjoy most about making wine?
The challenge of expressing the grapes that we grow in the wine we produce. Trying to get wine with immense character and the pleasure of enjoying the wine if we get it right.
2. What inspired you to become a winemaker?
There is no definite time and place that I can pin point. For me it was a gradual progression over time and when I look back now, it is who I am. A wine lover trying to produce something that he can enjoy and share with others who have the same passion.

3. What causes you the most stress during harvest?
Waiting for the harvest to start. The harvest itself is a very exciting and inspiring experience.

4. What is your favourite and/or least favourite wine cliché?
I am not big on cliché. I have a quote that I like, puts the world in which we live in perspective. This is a quote that my father in law, Schalk De Witt, shared with me - he is the philosopher and historian in the family.
The wine urges me on, the bewitching wine, which sets even a wise man to singing and to laughing gently and rouses him up to dance and brings forth words which were better unspoken. The Odyssey 800 BC - 700 BC

5. Away from the cellar and vineyard, what’s your greatest passion in life?
My family, I have a beautiful wife and two small daughters. I also have a few hobbies: woodworking, beekeeping and cheese making and I do love a game of Golf!

6. After a long day of work in the cellar, what do you turn to for refreshment?
A great glass of white wine, boring I know ... but it is what I love.

7. If you could take credit for one other BC wine on the market today, which would it be and why?
A tough question, I am currently drinking wines from Europe and I am not up to date with the current BC wines out there. I would have to say that my favorite wine at this time is: Allain Graillot - Croze Hermitage. One of my favourite winemakers and I have been privileged to spend a harvest with him.
8. Of the wines in your portfolio, do you have a favourite food pairing to go with one of the wines?
I would have to say that Bison steak, grilled over a open fire, paired with our Rubicon.

9. What do you think will be the next big trend in BC wine over the next few years?
I think there will be a world trend moving towards individual, authentic wines

10. Screwcap or cork? What’s your preference?
Cork, a little old school I know, and not the popular choice a this point in time but I think it is still the best all-round closure.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2013

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