Jean-Claude Martin from Creation on Winemaking

No doubt about it: there are as many winemaking styles as there are winemakers! Talking to Jean-Claude (JC) Martin of Creation, one soon learns that his philosophy is based on “enhancing the beauty of nature”.  JC says: “In harnessing the rich gifts of nature and our unique terroir, we strive to reward the wine lover with wines of rare balance, elegance, distinction and finesse.”

The Swiss-born JC completed his viticultural studies in 1991 at Wädenswil and then went on to qualify as a winemaker at the Swiss Federal School of Changins in 1995. These qualifications provided what he still regards to be a firm and ideal grounding – “viticulture first, then winemaking”.

According to JC it is essential to look at the natural influences on the vineyards during the growing season. The terroir dictates the quality and character of the fruit used to make wine, and the cooler climate of the Hemel-en-Aarde results in grapes which achieve phenolic ripeness while retaining excellent natural acidity. To quote him: “When you are harvesting quality fruit it is not necessary to manipulate the wine. Rather guide it gently through the winemaking process so as to preserve the sense of place.”

An important influence on his winemaking style is of course the vintage. The weather plays a major role as it shapes the acid structure of the grapes and also affects the phenolic ripeness. “Working in volatile weather conditions in Europe prepared me for many eventualities, however here on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge we’re fortunate to have very stable conditions.”On the subject of harvest JC prefers to use sight, smell and taste to determine the ripeness of the grapes. This organoleptic assessment requires not only natural flair but also years of experience since the balance between flavour, colour and tannins should be just right. Click here to read more. 2015 01 15 Jean Claude Martin on Winemaking r6 c3 Jean Claude Martin from Creation on Winemaking