After years of planning we were finally able to make some vintage skin-contact beers. The aim was to make a wort that would let the skins shine and winter well – blonde in colour to let the colours pop; very low bitterness so as not to detract from the skins flavours or clash with the acidity; higher booze to balance tannins and acidity etc. We brewed on the same day as the wines were pressed so that the skins and particularly the yeast on the skins was fresh and ready for the ferment. For each variety we transferred 700L of wort (one brew that we split) onto 300kg of wet skins (a mixture of young, freshly fermented wine/juice as well as skins, seeds and any microflora). Both ferments were healthy, and were punched down daily for 5 days before the free run beers were transferred into stainless steel tanks to finish ferment and condition. Both beers have great colour, pungent fruit flavour and acidity. The Merlot is a mesmerising purple colour with an unreal aroma of raspberry and dark berries. Big ups to Cape Jaffa Wines for the delicious fruit and we are looking forward to expanding the range next vintage!