At Creation the 2019 harvest is proceeding at a pace and the excitement runs high in both vineyards and cellar. Assisting, and each adding his/her own particular dynamic to the mix, are three energetic interns from Europe.
Max Fredrich hails from the German wine region of Markgräflerland near the Swiss and French borders and studies Oenology at the famous Geisenheim Institute. In his free time he is a member of the local fire brigade! The 24-year-old Max is no stranger to Creation as he did an internship here in 2016. Asked why he returned, his enthusiastic reply is that “at Creation the mood is always good”! To which he adds: “The Hemel-en-Aarde is a great region to make wine. Creation produces a lot of different wine varieties of superb quality, so I learn a lot.” And then there are the memorable braais evenings … “Sitting together around the fire drinking an excellent glass of wine after a harvest day is very rewarding.”
How does a harvest at Creation differ from that in his part of the world? “The harvest here is more relaxed. The Hemel-en-Aarde gives you more time to make excellent wines,” is Max’s considered opinion.
Arielle Andrey who is 26 years old completed an apprenticeship as a baker and pastry chef before deciding to become a winemaker. She comes from the same Swiss village as Creation Cellarmaster Jean-Claude Martin where her parents own a winery on the banks of Lake Biel. “I heard many good things about Creation back home and that’s why I decided to apply for an internship here,” Arielle explains.
Arielle’s favourite Creation wine is the Pinot Noir. ”Perhaps it’s because it is also our main red wine and it’s such an interesting variety as it takes a lot from the terroir. I like the fruity bouquet of JC’s Pinot Noir and the decent oak that doesn’t overpower the other aromas.” One of her most memorable experiences at Creation has been the amount of grapes that came into the cellar within only two days. “My parents’ winery is only 4.5 ha – 15 times smaller than Creation, and it is amazing to see how great the team works together.”
The 36-year-old Benjamin Zbinden, also from Biel, Switzerland, agrees with Arielle: “The teamwork is something to see at Creation – it’s amazing how seamlessly they work together!” Benjamin is also a qualified baker and pastry chef and worked in a variety of establishments, including Schloss-Beck in Nidau where he managed three teams. “This is where I met Arielle. We went travelling together for two years to different countries and had a great experience. Her parents have a winery in Schafis in Switzerland and for the last few years, I have been assisting in the cellar and in the kitchen. It was very interesting, and I decided to learn more about wine.” Within two hours of applying for internships at Creation, Benjamin and Arielle received confirmation that they were accepted.
The Creation Reserve Pinot Noir is Benjamin’s favourite. “It has lovely fruit like raspberry, dark fruit, great structure and a smooth taste of oak, exactly how I prefer my Pinot Noir.“ He and Arielle plan to take over her parents’ winery and restaurant in Schafis in two years’ time. “We want to maintain the traditions but also bring new and exciting things from our experiences in other wineries back home. I have a lot of experience in gastronomy which will assist with developing my skills of understanding wine and food pairing in a more in-depth way.”