Thursday, June 27, 2013

Launching a Trebuchet Syrah

Nothing goes together like a good syrah wine and a humongous trebuchet.

A syrah is a dark-skinned grape that is used to produce a red wine. The Journey's End Vineyards near Cape Town, South Africa had a massive 12 ton trebuchet built in England to celebrate the launch of their new Trebuchet Syrah wine. Here their big treb, currently nicknamed Dionysus, hurls a car, an old church organ, and a bomb with ease.

The 'petrol bomb' thing is crazy, but anyway, you can get in on the fun and win a case of wine in their 'Name the Trebuchet' contest.

Journey's End Vineyards:

Has the launch of a new wine ever been taken so literally?

Rollo Gabb, owner of Journey's End Vineyards has has commissioned a full-scale version of the fabled medieval siege weapon -- the trebuchet -- to be built to coincide with the launch of the winery's 2008 vintage syrah.

The Trebuchet - who has thus far been nicknamed Dionysus by Journey's End fans on twitter - is an 60ft, 12-tonne machine that can hurl an old church organ, a car and old oak barrels several hundred yards.

Mr Gabb, whose family owns and runs the winery at Sir Lowry's Pass, near Stellenbosch, said he hoped the trebuchet would yield financial benefits for the community local to the award-winning vineyard, as well as put its name to a first class wine.

'Combining old knowledge and methods with modern technology is something that fascinates me, and it seemed to suit our 2008 Syrah down to the ground,' said Mr Gabb. 'It is a powerful and exciting wine, with great structure -- much like the machine it is named after'.

The single vineyard Syrah is from Journey's End vineyard that was planted in 1998. The South West facing block sits on decomposed granite on the famed Schapenberg Hills overlooking False Bay.

The wine is priced at £12.99 is available from Tanner's Wine Merchant.
Journey's End sales & mktg director Rollo Gabb, the #trebuchet 2008 Syrah and the machine
Another Youtube view -- 'petrol bomb' + Syrah Trebuchet = crazy:

Big Bang for Trebuchet Syrah 2008

On April 2nd 2013 we embarked on the ambitious project of constructing a 60 ft. tall, 12.4 ton medieval trebuchet.

Three 140ft tall Douglas Fir trees were carefully selected and felled at the Dudmaston Estate, near Bridgnorth in Shropshire, as England endured a prolonged winter freeze.

The steelwork for our machine was carefully laser cut on Monday 13th May at Marshbrook in Shropshire and works continue to have the machine ready for a trial launch on 23rd JUNE.

Once ready for assembly our trebuchet will be erected at Acton Round, Nr Bridgnorth, Shropshire and the launch will be celebrated by chucking the currently defunct organ out of the local church.

Following launch we will be taking down this magnificent engine and packing her into a 40ft container for shipment to the Journeys End Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Here she will hopefully enjoy a life in warmer climes and be utilised to raise funds for our local community of Sir Lowrys Pass Village.
In the medieval times these magnificent machines of war were given nicknames. Names at the time included ‘WARWOLF’, ‘GODS STONE THROWER’ and ‘BAD NEIGHBOUR’

Please send in any name suggestions to ... the Top 10 names Drawn on 31st September 2013 will each win a case of Trebuchet Syrah !

PS: Our name suggestion was "Sir Lowry's Thunder". It is based on where the Trebuchet will live, Sir Lowry's Pass Village, South Africa, and who Sir Gailbraith Lowry Cole was.