There is now a very secret winery in the Winelands that nobody is suppose to know about, where no eye is suppose to roam, and of which no word may be spoken. Could it be that this winery has discovered the hidden secret to winemaking that nobody else have been able to find, and that this group of people have something that can be so powerful, that the effect will be so amazing that their wine quality will far surpass that of icon wines?
Every generation of winemakers think they will discover the secret to winemaking. They think that their understanding and insight far surpass that of every other generation. Every young generation also think that they discover the art of making love for the first time.
Winemakers should get better with years and experience, but sometimes ten years experience of only one situation, is equal to only one year repeated ten times. To grow one has to constantly challenge yourself, otherwise you should just retire.
Every winemaker has a certain pride in what he does, but to me “pride”, is often not remembered as one of the seven deadly sins. This emotion in my book should just not be good practice.
Good stock and commodity traders are always nimble and quick, and have no hesitation about changing their minds about the direction of the market. If they bet on the market going down, and the market goes up, they change the direction they are betting on, without sticking to their original believe or arguing with the market. Pride should always take a backseat to reality, because you cannot argue with reality. People however have a different perception of reality, which makes this argument a bit tough.
Winemakers offended about new ways of thinking, or techniques that challenge their traditional doctrine, should do some soul searching. Are they going to stick to their self imposed religion of winemaking, or are they going to test everything, keep the good and discard the bad?
Louis Nel is the owner and winemaker of Louis wines in South Africa.