Echipa Thesaurus – David Lockley
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Dear wine lovers,
In the following months we intend to bring in front of you the key people in making this adventure possible. So, we start with an ice-breaking interview realized with our wine maker, David. David is originally from South Africa and has joined our team in 2014. David is working closely with Paul, our other instrumental person in pursuing this goal of making the perfect wine…but enough with introductions, please see below what David has to say:
Reporter: What is your impression about Thesaurus Wines at a glance?
David: Basically, the wines of Thesaurus are individually made. They are made with great passion and desire to make something completely different and exciting for the consumer.
R: You told us about desire, passion. Tell us about your passion for wines.
D: My passion started in 1979, when I was 12 years old, and my father asked me what I plan to be. And I said “a wine maker, dad”. And he said “That’s not a job, that is not a proper job. That’s a form of art”. So, I first became a mechanic, to fulfill the needs of my father’s wish. And then I became a wine maker. My idea of making wine… It’s a form of art, but it is extracting nature. Which can be manipulated in a vineyard, but you can extract the flavors of fruit, and you can than bottle it. And, every single year, you have different characteristics during vintage, you have different seasons, you have different styles of wine. So it’s not just an every day going-to-work situation, it’s a lifestyle which I enjoy. And basically, is trying to extract the best from the grapes, from the vineyard, and placing it to the bottle, so the consumer can see the extension of your personality, if I can call it, from the vineyard to the bottle, to the table.
R: Why is Thesaurus different?
D: We are the smallest commercial producers in Romania, with only 5 hectares. This area is controlled by two people: myself, and my colleague Paul. We do the spraining, we do the trimming, the tying up of the vines. There is an extension of, as I said before, of personality in every row, in every bunch. We walk the vineyard every day, to see the progress or to address potential problems. So, these wines are hand-made, they are hand-crafted, by myself and Paul. And apart from making the wines, we also end up selling our own wines. So it’s quite a unique situation. So when people ask us about the vintage, or about the trellising systems, or whatever, we can give them exactly 100% correct information because we had our hands on.
R: Tell us about the wine range a bit.
D: As I said, we have a very small amount of vineyards to play with. We have Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Than we have Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Riesling, and we have a small amount of Muscat Ottonel. Initially, every seller wants to make the ultimate reserve blend. “2014” was our first Cabernet Reserve. A small part of grapes were put aside, and lot of attention was put to allow us to have our first Reserve wine. From year to year it might be a blend of, for example Cabernet and Pinot Noir, or Cabernet and Merlot, or Cabernet and Shiraz. It’s the best red varieties of the vintage, blended together and placed in barrels for a number of months.
Going down the range, the way we structured our wines is a follows: we have a range called Amadoc, which is all DOC certified wines (Cabernet Reserved is also DOC but it’s branded under its own brand). Amadoc consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Riesling and Muscat Ottonel.
We also have another range called Amurg which is an IG certified wine. Which means it did not reach the standards of the DOC qualification. This doesn’t mean it is a wine of a lesser standard. It’s just a different wine.
Than we have obviously “vin de masa”, which consists of a very small amount of rose. The way we make rose is by draining the juice from the Cabernet, or the Pinot Noir. We’ve noticed there is such an attitude towards rose drinking in Romania. We don’t create a rose market. We just want to intensify the reds and have a nice rose to have around the barbeque.
R: Any future plans?
D: As we say, only a legend can leave a legacy. Nelson Mandela, to me is my hero. So we have to leave foundations for the children. You come to new a profession, you have to put in platforms for the next generation to continue. We plan to get new equipment to speed up the bottling and labeling of the wines. And also the storage facilities. We plan to expand our storage facilities at the highest standards of air conditioning and insolation.
Our future plans are highly coordinated with planting of new vineyards, planting for example of Merlot. But I also want to look at different clones from different areas around the world. For example, Pinor Noir from Burgundy, Pinot Noir from New Zeeland. Or Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, or Sauvignon Blanc from New Zeeland. We will try to get more high-quality wines and better clones. And we will continue to focus on getting more structure, and more character out of the vineyard, out of the grapes.
R: Thank you David for your time!
D: My pleasure.