“Calm, precise, intuitive and softly spoken; always up for a challenge”, that’s how Bosman CEO Petrus Bosman describes their award-winning winemaker Corlea Fourie.
This vintage is Fourie’s 10th at the Bosman cellar, and she has much to be proud of. A quick glance at the latest Platter guide will reassure with a five-star wine, a four-and-a-half star wine and a whopping eight more four-star wines.
And this wasn’t a fluke – look back on her decade and more awards spring to mind – the top two being the Inaugural ABSA/Pinotage Association Perold Cape Blend wine for the Bosman Family Vineyards Erfenis 2010 (the year Corlea gave birth to twins); and the 2016 Old Mutual Trophy Show Museum Class Chenin Blanc Trophy for the Bosman Family Vineyards Optenhorst Chenin Blanc 2011.
Fourie recalls her first harvest on the Bosman farm in 2007:
“I was doing some consulting work in the area and often came across Petrus as we were both making small batches of experimental wines in a cellar on a neighbouring farm.
“So I knew Petrus was busy renovating the 250-year-old cellar on the family farm, and was planning to make wine in it.
“I remember thinking how much I would love to work there, but it was only in January, just before harvest started that Petrus invited me on board.
“The first press took us nearly through the night as we struggled to figure out how to use all the equipment, and from there the learning curve steepened even more.”
Since then, the cellar has filled up with tanks and barrels, as has Bosman’s wine listings both locally and abroad and Fourie has been involved in it all.
Back to the current vintage, the grapes are all in the cellar and Fourie is very happy with the vintage on the whole.
“It started late but ended with a bang as everything seemed to ripen at the same time. That meant we had to be very well-organised in the cellar, but fortunately I have a fantastic team working with me.”
“I know I am a chenin junkie, but the analysis of these grapes was really a treat this year.
“After last year`s drought, it was amazing to see how resilient vines really are.
“The low rainfall was not really a problem for us as we get good data from the weather stations and so can make critical decisions in time.
“In fact, this year, which was the driest in 50 years, has given us our biggest yield”.
Fourie was also happy with the lovely healthy fruit delivered to her cellar from the Bosman Upper Hemel-en-Aarde valley, particularly to chenin (of course!).
Never one to rest on her laurels, Fourie has made a Petitant Natural for the first time this vintage. So we can look forward to the release of this bubbly later on in the year . . .