Blankbottle started 12 years ago with Walser buying wine from other winemakers, blending it and bottling it.
Five years ago, he started buying grapes and making the wine himself.
Walser buys from 58 vineyards in the Western Cape, picking 28 varietals from 68 lots over a period of 100 days (Jan 7 – mid-April) and from this he will produce 30 wines with a total production of 55,000 bottles.
The largest output being Moment of Silence (4,000 bottles) and the smallest output being Im Hinterhofkabuff (400 bottles).
The blend changes every year so that none of his wines ever tastes the same. Half of the wines will not make a re-appearance.
“I appeal to the adventurous wine drinker and they buy my wines because they trust me – they give me money to take them on a journey.” Pieter Walser
Pieter Walser started his label BLANKbottle because he was “fed up of tasting wines with fancy labels and wanted to create a wine brand that you could judge only on quality, not looks.”
He produces wines that have no indication of the grape variety, which not only demands complete honesty when it comes to quality, but it allows him the opportunity to introduce once-off limited runs of interesting wines.
An honest brand that had no limitations when it came to style, vintage, area or cultivars. Something for someone with an open mind and an adventurous heart.
“I experiment. If it is a new vineyard I make one barrel and see how it goes”
Quite apart from the grapes, wine and name, each of Walser’s wines have different, distinctive-shaped bottles and a unique label all handmade with original artwork by Walser out of woodcuts and painting.
Walser adopted a non-interventionist approach. The wines are made in old oak barrels and left on the lees with no sulfur or enzymes added.
After the winter he adds a small bit of sulfur prior to bottling.
“I want my wines to be as naturally made as possible and I like it when grapes challenge consumers, but having said that I don’t want the wine to taste like bacteria. I want the wine to taste great and I want people to taste the vineyard.”
Life of a Black Valentine
Retirement at 65
Searching for L'Estrange