Q: What do a church organ, a Ford Fiesta and a 300L wine barrel have in common?
A: They’ve all been launched by Dionysus, the 60ft medieval trebuchet at Journey’s End.
The latest addition to our South African wine range, the Trebuchet wines are a new release from Journey’s End to mark the construction of a 12.4 ton, 60ft tall medieval trebuchet.
Journey’s End estate, owned by the Gabb family from Shropshire, sits on the Schapenberg Hills of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Near False Bay, they are the closest vineyards in Stellenbosch to the sea and this coastal influence means that they are generally a few degrees cooler than the wineries closer to the town of Stellenbosch. This gives them the potential for fantastic natural acidity and freshness.
They’re not the first winery to build a trebuchet, but much like their wines, the Gabb family took the approach that if you’re going to do something, you should do it properly. After working a harvest with Wirra Wirra in McLaren Vale, Rollo Gabb was inspired by their medieval machine of war and reckoned he knew just the people to do it bigger. Three large Douglas Fir Trees were selected from the Dudmaston Estate near Bridgnorth and felled in March 2013. The metalwork, including the beam and 100 steel plates, was then commissioned at Marchbrook Shropshire and the trebuchet completed during the summer.
A test launch was held – a Ford Fiesta, a piano and the defunct organ from Acton Round Church were thrown several hundred metres across a field to raise £1000 for a new church organ. Now tested, the great machine was dismantled and loaded into a 40ft container labelled as an art installation to be shipped to its new home in the warmer climes of the Cape, where it is now used to raise money for the community of Sir Lowrys Pass Village.
Our buyer for South Africa, Matt Pym had a go.
Watch the video to find out the full story behind the construction of this magnificent recreation of an ancient machine of war, put to far less bellicose use!