Winemaker Janno Briers-Louw
Janno Briers-Louw grew up on the family farm, and after matriculating at Paarl Boys High, he obtained a B. Agric (Cellar Management & Viticulture) degree from the University of Stellenbosch.
A harvest intern stint at Rosenblum Cellars in California in 2004, coupled with visits to the wine regions of Argentina, Germany, Australia, Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne, broadened his international exposure. After harvest work at local wineries Fairview, Spice Route and Perdeberg, he joined the family farm in 2009.
Eenzaamheid’s maiden vintage was produced in 2010 with very limited equipment after a winemaking drought lasting two generations.
Janno qualified as a Cape Wine Master in 2016.
“Seven generations of my family have tended dryland vines, with knowledge and skills inherited from one generation to another. The Mediterranean climate and deep shale soils of Paarl are reflected in the unique character of our fine and distinctive wines. Each bottle is hand-crafted by traditional methods for your enjoyment. Cheers to good health, peace and prosperity!”
Janno Briers-Louw – Winemaker
Looking out over Agter-Paarl, one immediately senses that Eenzaamheid is different. “Great winemaking begins in the vineyard,” they say. Therefore Eenzaamheid’s dryland vineyards are cultivated passionately, with a vision of consistently producing excellent quality grapes.
Dryland viticulture refers to the cultivation of vines that rely entirely on natural rainfall as a source of water and this practice is becoming increasingly challenging, given the realities of global warming and the current financial climate. Less than 15% of South Africa’s vineyards are currently farmed without irrigation, as not all terroirs are suitable for the dryland cultivation of wine grapes.
Terroir is defined as the total natural environment of a viticultural site. This includes climate (heat, sunshine, rainfall, and frost), soil, aspect (sunshine, temperature, sun strength and drainage) and location.
In dryland conditions the vines produce smaller berries with higher skin-to-juice ratios and more intense flavours and aromas.
The Mediterranean climate and deep shale soils of the Agter-Paarl region are reflected in the unique character of our fine and distinctive wines.
Winemaking at Eenzaamheid culminate in a single goal: to produce unique and extraordinary wines from our dryland vineyards. The wines are produced in limited quantities with an intense focus on quality.
Every cluster of Eenzaamheid grapes is hand-harvested, and just as much care is taken during transportation from the vineyard to the winery. The integrity of the grapes is assured by placing the clusters in small boxes that hold no more than 16 kilograms.
Although the grapes are harvested in cool conditions at the crack of dawn, the full crates are stacked in a cold room for a few hours to cool down even more prior to being sorted and destemmed.
The grapes are hand-sorted, and any leaves or imperfect grapes are discarded.
Because Eenzaamheid produces a very limited quantity of wine, each fermentation vessel is dedicated to a single lot of grapes; each tank is used only once during harvest, which means that fermentation and maceration are never rushed.
A few days of pre-fermentation maceration at low temperatures in our open-top fermenters draw out a myriad of rich flavours and colours from the skins, seeds and pulp. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled open-top fermentation vessels and the rising cap is punched down manually every 6 hours. After fermentation, the skins, seeds and pulp are pressed in a traditional basket press. To provide backbone to the free-run wine, a portion of the pressed wine is added to the final blend.
Malolactic fermentation takes places in 300 litre French oak barrels, where the wine will also undergo its maturation process. Once the wine is safely in barrel, the topping, racking and fining processes begin. During the 11-months of barrel maturation, Janno continually tastes from each barrel, evaluating the evolution of the wine.
After almost a year in barrel, the wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined and undergoes an additional year of bottle age before the wine is released— some two years after harvest.