Vin de Saison 2014
At Devil’s Peak, we like to go above and beyond the ordinary. The status quo will never be enough. Just keeping up with trends will never be enough.
Since our inception, we’ve been obsessed with being on the forefront of all things beer in South Africa.
With the success of the Vannie Hout, a barrel aged Saison infused with Brettanomyces, we knew that big, bold, interesting beers were the way forward. Enter the Vin de Saison.
I sat down with JC to discuss the evolution of our barrel aging program, and what we can expect from the second round of one of the most interesting beers in South Africa.
Mitch: “JC, tell me a bit about the initial batch.”
JC: “In 2013, the Vin de Saison was our first attempt at a wine-beer hybrid. The grapes, harvested from one of Mullineux’s award winning vineyards, showed great potential. As always, they displayed an alluring character that would combine perfectly with the typical Saison. 2013 was harvested at a lower sugar (balling of around 22 or Specific gravity of about 1.092). For our first attempt, we aged it for 5 months in old white wine barrels.”
Mitch: “Balling? Like… Making it rain? Or more like Michael Jordan?”
JC: “Balling is a density scale used to measure sugar. It’s like specific gravity, but wine makers often use balling.”
Mitch: “So you used to do quite a bit of balling then?”
Mitch: “Okay I’m done. Let’s move on to this year’s Vin de Saison batch”
JC: “With the 2014, as one could expect, the vintage variation played a huge role. The year started off a bit warmer than 2013. This lead to the grapes ripening at a more rapid pace than usual, which resulted in a higher sugar content (approximately at 25 balling or 1.105 specific gravity). This will undoubtedly add to the richer and riper expression from the Chenin (sourced from Schist Vineyard) as opposed to the fresh and fruity traits of 2013. We also aged the 2014 for just over 7 months in barrel. This also aided in the development of additional acidity that lends a delicious, thirst quenching freshness to the beer along with fantastic complexity.”
Mitch: “And when can Devil’s Peak fans expect a release?”
JC: “We’re aiming for late December. Fans can keep an eye on our social media for updates.”
Remember folks, the Vin de Saison is produced in limited quantities, so be sure to grab some at launch!