Top image: Dr Carien Coetzee
Pioneering wine estate Diemersdal has contracted Dr Carien Coetzee, an experienced wine researcher and scientist, to assist this Durbanville winery in improving its technical and scientific capabilities aimed at continuing to produce cutting-edge wines, with the focus on its world-renowned range of Sauvignon Blancs.
Dr Coetzee recently formed her own private consultancy Basic Wine offering various specialist technical, research and scientific services to the wine industry.
“Part of my role at Diemersdal includes project planning, management and interpretation as well as to contribute to quality control during processing,” says Dr Coetzee. “The Diemersdal winemaking team under Thys Louw are all forward-thinking wine makers. When I was asked to join them on a part-time basis they already had various experimental projects in mind aimed at increasing their exciting wine offering, as well as taking the general standard of their wines to the next level.”
Dr Coetzee says the aim of her projects with the team is to investigate the effect of vineyard and wine making treatments on the composition and quality of their unique wines. “My role in the team is to help plan and coordinate the projects, document the progress and ultimately evaluating the results – chemically as well as sensorially.”
Dr Coetzee was also part of the South African delegation to the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in New Zealand.
“Having a passion for Sauvignon Blanc myself I am honoured to be included in a team responsible for producing some of South Africa’s best Sauvignon Blanc,” she says. “I look forward to seeing my years of gathering information and research applied in having an impact on the offering of a leading wine producer.”
One of Diemersdal’s revolutionary projects to date was the release two years ago of its Winter Ferment Sauvignon Blanc made by fermenting juice that had been frozen for six months to increase the thiol compounds.
Thys Louw, wine maker-proprietor of Diemersdal, says it is imperative that the offerings from terroir and vineyards be complemented by science and research from proven experts such as Dr Coetzee.
“Making better wine and pushing the envelope as to what you can offer the market is very important to Diemersdal,” says Louw. “We are fortunate to have access to the services of Carien who is one of the most gifted wine scientists around with a true understanding of the total wine making processes as well as sharing our vision of realising the importance of out-of-the-box thinking.”