Wine launch adopts medieval methods

South African producer Journey’s End is celebrating the release of its Trebuchet Syrah 2008 by commissioning a full-scale version of the medieval siege weapon.

The trebuchet construction gets underway

The trebuchet construction gets underway

The project has been conceived in partnership with fellow trebuchet fan Huw Kennedy, who lives in the UK county of Shropshire where Journey’s End owner Rollo Gabb has a home.

The 60-foot high, 12-tonne trebuchet will swing into action near Bridgnorth next weekend, when it will hurl several items including an old church organ and a car.

“Combining ancient knowledge with modern technology is something that fascinates me and it seems to suit the 2008 Syrah down to the ground,” remarked Gabb.

In addition to marking the launch of his wine, the initiative aims to raise funds for the local communities in both Shropshire and Stellenbosch.

Gabb explained: “While the event in June will hopefully go a long way to providing our local church in Shropshire with a new organ, the trebuchet will continue to be used for fundraisers as it will be painstakingly taken apart, shipped to the vineyard in South Africa and then rebuilt on site.

“I am planning to raise funds for the local community there by people donating to watch the trebuchet flinging items such as empty wine barrels.”

A competition is open until the end of September for people to suggest names for the new trebuchet, with the top ideas winning a case of the 2008 Syrah. Entries should be sent to trebuchet@journeysend.co.za.

Journey’s End is not the only winery to embrace medieval warfare. Australian producer Wirra Wirra also has a trebuchet, which it uses to hurl watermelons into the vineyard.

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