An Epic Week with Amorim and Two Tough Winemakers

And they’re off. Winemakers Jacques Wentzel from Black Elephant Vintners and Braam Gericke from Wildekrans Wine Estate began their second Absa Cape Epic, known as the Tour de France of mountain-biking, with Sunday’s 27km Prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville. Team Jacques and Braam are this year supported by, among others, Amorim Cork and after completing this epic endurance event in 2016 they are hoping to put in another good performance his year.

Although just finishing the event is an astonishing achievement: The 2017 route will take riders through 691 km of Western Cape countryside and up plenty of leg-breaking hills: the accumulated vertical gain over the eight days will be 15 400m.

What gives competing in the Epic an extra needle for winemakers like Jacques and Braam, is that the bulk of the training has to be done during the Cape wine grape harvest.

“It takes two lines of focusing,” says Jacques. “For the Epic I have to put in between 15 and 20 hours a week of training, which can be a bit of challenge as this is during a winemaker’s most important time of the year. But where there is a will, there must be a way. The training has been done, and the young Black Elephant Vintner wines are looking great!”