DP Burger, GlenWood Cellar Master, shares his life through Covid-19

For the first time in seven days, the little green Covid-19 men have stayed away long enough for me to get a decent night’s rest. Yes, the struggle with this virus is real – it came to fight and fight it can! 

At the time of writing, it is the day after our South African “Family Meeting”, with President Cyril Ramaphosa once again announcing a total ban on alcohol sales in South Africa. Restaurants are only allowed to open for take-aways and, with the current rate of vaccinations, this fantastic rainbow nation is on track to reach herd immunity by about 2045… With turbulent times ahead, let’s pause for a moment and take stock. 

GlenWood had a great 21st Harvest and we are proud to still be producing wines enjoyed by our good friends and loyal customers. I will never forget the day 21 years ago, in February 2000, when we pressed our first buch of Chardonnay then Sémillon. A mere 300 bottles of each were produced and, as the saying goes, ’the rest is history’. 

Early days of GlenWood Vineyard, Franschhoek SA
Left: GlenWood Cellar almost ready (Jan, 200) | Right: 1st pressing with DP Burger, Kristie Burger (daughter) and Cathy Marshall (consultant)




Watching our winemaker, Natasha Pretorius, and her small team at work in the cellar this year was an incredibly fulfilling experience once again. It was a real show of force as they set about making the best wine with the fruit on offer and under such unclear circumstances. 

What will tomorrow bring? Will there be tourism? Did we produce enough?……..So many questions with so few answers – my late dad always said, “farming is about faith” and ‘true as Bob’, we are operating on good faith at present! 

We are now entering our 24th week without domestic alcohol sales since March 2020. If things go exactly according to plan,  this round will end on July 12th, making it a total of 25 weeks. Let that sink in for a second – half a year of zero wine sales – tough to say the least and even more difficult to plan the road ahead. 

Chardonnay Cluster for the GlenWood Grand Duc Chardonnay

On a positive note, the quality of the grapes this year was exceptional; healthy, great analyses and intense flavours for those who showed some patience. We picked our last bunch of grapes three weeks later than in 2020, but it was worth every second of the wait.  With a successful harvest behind us, the cellar is full to the brim and Natasha has already moved some of the 2021 Unoaked Chardonnay and 2021 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon wine to bottle. 

The 2021 Vigneron’s Selection Chardonnay is looking fantastic. Intense and so well structured with that nutty, peachy flavour. It’s already beautifully integrated and laced together by a well selected barrel regime in place. I’m very excited about this wine – watch this space!

What does the future have in store? With good wine in the cellar, I feel excited for the years ahead.  There is, and always will be, a place for a good bottle of wine somewhere in the world. Worried? Nope! Unsure? Maybe a little. Excited for what the future holds for GlenWood? Very!!!

Thank you for each and everyone’s support. We need your thirsty caps on now more than ever. Don’t ever forget, ‘no good story started with a salad’.



DP Burger
Cellar Master
GlenWood Vineyards