Garagistes, Gerakaris and Grapes – all on our doorstep

Did you know? 

There are lots of ‘did you knows’ when it comes to Gerakaris Winery. 

Did you know that there was such a thing as garagiste wine?

Did you know there are 9 garagiste wineries in Gauteng?

And did you know that one of them, Gerakaris Winery,  is just down the road from Liz at Lancaster? 

Garagiste wines  

According to Google (or Googles as my grandson calls it … “Nana, you must just Googles it”),  garagistes refers to a group of winemakers in the Bordeaux region of France, producing “vins de garage” or  “garage wine”. This group emerged in the mid-1990s in reaction to the traditional style of Bordeaux wine.  Needless to say the grapes for these wines usually come from previously unknown estates without proven track record or pedigree. So they can be contentious with more traditionalist wine-makers.  As with many of my blogs I got side tracked with the research and ended reading a lot of Mary-Louise Nash 2010  Dissertation entitled “Garage Winemaking in South Africa Less is More” which formed part of her Cape Wine Master diploma. Very interesting.  

Wine tasting at Gerakaris Winery, Delta Centre, Craighall Park  

But before we get into more technicalities, I was delighted when I was treated to a belated but very welcome Christmas present from my dear friend Bart for a wine tasting at Gerakaris Winery. There is no better way to spend a lazy autumnal Saturday lunch than sampling 4 different wines over a small cheeseboard.  The wooden tables with benches shaded under umbrellas, and the small indigenous garden, all contribute to a gentle laid back feel down at the Delta Centre. 

Wine tasting with a good friend in Craighall Park on a warm autumnal day – it doesn’t get better than that! Source; www.lizatlancaster.co.za
Gerakaris Winery is peaceful, gentle and delightfully laid-back. Source: www.lizatlancaster.co.za

Kath Gerakaris 

Originally from New Zealand, where she completed a PG diploma in viticulture and wine-making, Kath Gerakaris travelled the world before landing up in South Africa. She never left. She worked briefly on a  six-week harvest at Thelema and then became marketing manager for Whalehaven & Idiom wines. In 2008 she moved to Johannesburg and established Gerakaris Family Winery originally a marketing company focused on bringing boutique Cape wineries to the Johannesburg market. But in 2010 she started making wine out of her garage and by 2018 Kath had moved the vats and the wine-making to a delightful old converted farm shed in the Delta Centre.

Kath converted an old farm building in the Delta Centre. Source: www.lizatlancaster.co.za 

The wine-making process all happens on-site 

The grapes are grown in the Swartland region over 1200km away, and are driven up overnight in a refrigerated truck – 7 tons in 2018 and 10 tons in 2019 . From then on the entire wine-making process happens on-site at Gerakaris: from the crushing, fermenting and aging (in steel and wood barrels) to the bottling and, of course, best of all .. the tasting.

Gerakaris use wood and steel vats for their wines
Source: www.lizatlancaster.co.za

Gerakaris wines 

The four wines currently produced wines are named after Kath and Minos two children Thomas and Ella. There are 2 Chenin Blancs – 2018 Ellaki (made from grapes matured for 2-3 months in a steel vat ie unwooded) and the 2017 Miss Elli (matured from10-12 months in an oak vat); and 2 red wines – the 2016 Tom Red Blend and the 2017 Tom Syrah. I’m no wine expert so my opinion is not worth much. I enjoyed them all except the 2017 Syrah which be ???? own admission is still to young.

I couldn’t resist buying a bottle of Tom Red Blend. Source: www.lizatlancaster.co.za

Wine Tastings 

In terms of cost per tasting, you can expect to pay R30 to taste each of the four wines on offer. Any wine that you decide to purchase can be bought immediately:

  • Ellaki  Chenin blanc 2018 (un-wooded) – R120/bottle
  • Elli Chenin blanc 2017 (wooded)  – R220/bottle but sold out
  • Tom Red Blend 2016 – R80/bottle
  • Tom Syrah 2017 – R180/bottle

Hours for wine tasting: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 12-5pm and Saturday 10-3 and  Sunday 11-2.

Gerakaris is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The venue is also for hire. Source: www.lizatlancaster.co.za

And for more information: email kath@gerakaris.co.za or call 072 638 7636. 

Address: 20 Marlborough Avenue, Craighall Park, Johannesburg

 

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