“There is no coincidence, eventually all the pieces fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live every moment, and know that everything happens for a reason… “
It all started when we first came to Slent. It was the last day before going back to Italy, after 50 days of travelling with agents, looking at farms on the market. The “old” agent showed us Slent, as something we needed to see before going home. It was bigger than what we were looking for, but something we couldn’t miss. When we arrived at the gate, it was love. No matter what, Slent was the one. Our whole lives here have been a path of little signs and blessings. The previous owners, the Ayama name, our wedding, our son, our wines and our team. Everything comes from a tale to our hands, minds and hearts. And the same is applicable to our labels.
At first, we tried to give the labels an Italian-African touch. It was useless…it didn’t work. They were beautifully designed labels, don’t take us wrong, but they were not whispering any feeling to the hearts of wine lovers’.
One day, previous owner Judy New, told us a neighbour called her saying there were sheep disappearing, and to watch out for her own as there was a big possibility that a Leopard was running around the area. The immediate thought to me was that I wished to be able to see this amazing creature one day, and to protect it from bad men. Stating publicly our position on this matter, we decided to dedicate Ayama Wines to nature, the Leopard being the icon creature for it. Ayama, which means Someone to lean on, became someone to lean on for nature too. Easy to imagine, that each of the labels Ayama has, comes from nature communicating to us. As for the Baboon’s Range labels.
The first Baboons intrigued us. We were sitting on a Saturday afternoon, around lunch time and spotted baboons happily walking on the Shiraz vineyards picking grapes to feed themselves. The sight was eye-catching for so long that we probably lost more Shiraz that year, than the previous owner ever lost in 22 years… we just enjoyed looking at them behaving quietly and happily snacking on lots of fruits. After a good 10 minutes, the loss of grapes on the ground woke up our farmer’s conscience and we started asking each other, and the previous owners, how to get the baboon’s out of the vineyard to avoid having no Shiraz wine in our wine range. Easily scared by the noise of a vehicle, the baboons were walking back to the mountain as we got closer with our car. This is now a yearly “appointment”. The baboons never fail to pay a visit during harvest time, while we live our ” real life photographic safari ” on the farm.
Vermentino label, fermented in music.
This long story to explain that the Vermentino label is not different. We can say it was a combination… friendship, passion and nature giving the lead to something unique. Our Vermentino mother block was planted a few years before the first vineyard was planted. We nursed 25 vines as “babies” as they are “the mothers”. In 2014, we did the first micro-vinification on the Vermentino. We needed to know what the wine would be like coming from the grafted vines growing in the nursery. We didn’t have the cellar at the time and our friends and neighbours, Willie and Tania De Waal, offered to make it at their cellar. Julia, a young, passionate, hard working woman coming from Germany for an internship was helping us with the winemaking. It was Julia, who one evening, discovered the amazing texture the fermenting Vermentino foam was creating on top of the must. So perfect and so beautiful, looking like it was moved by imperceptible music waves. -Music was playing all day in the cellar. Our Vermentino, fermented in music, lead us to a new experience. Pictures Julia took of the tank are still an unbelievable sight. And so decided the fate of our label…