News

DE WETSHOF ESTATE LILYA ROSE 2021, PERFECT WITH TUNA TATAKI…

De Wetshof Estate Lilya Dry Rosé 2021

De Wetshof Wine Estate is a third-generation family Estate in the Robertson Wine Appellation. Here the De Wet Family has farmed and made wine for 150 years. While the Estate’s speciality is Chardonnay, they certainly have fine plantings of other noble varieties from which Peter de Wet, the family Winemaker, makes some superb wines.

De Wetshof Estate Lilya Dry Rosé 2021

De Wetshof Wine Estate is a third-generation family Estate in the Robertson Wine Appellation. Here the De Wet Family has farmed and made wine for 150 years. While the Estate’s speciality is Chardonnay, they certainly have fine plantings of other noble varieties from which Peter de Wet, the family Winemaker, makes some superb wines.



A PAIR OF SUPERB BANGHOEK VALLEY MERLOTS FROM THE STELLENBOSCH WINE APPELLATION…

Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Reserve Merlot 2018 – one of my superb Banghoek Valley Merlots

The Stellenbosch Wine Appellation is known for producing fine Cabernet Sauvignon Wines. Its fellow Bordeaux wine, Merlot, has been used very successfully as a blender in the so-called Bordeaux Style Blends. With renewed interest in the wine, better vineyard sites, more care in the cellar, and a keenness from a number of producers who have founded the Hallo Merlot Forum, we are more than ready to celebrate International Merlot Day on 9th November. Here are two of my current favourite Banghoek Valley Merlots.


Seeking new heights

We just have to look to the soaring vineyards of Argentina to know that viticulture is literally on the rise. Many of the country’s vines are grown at dizzying heights, from 1000m and above to even as high as 3300m. It’s neighbour Chile also has high-flung pockets, in the Elqui Valley for example producers are even experimenting with aromatic varieties such as riesling.

There’s no doubt that as the world warms we will begin to look skyward: it’ll be something of a gold rush to claim the cooler, higher sites as climatic doom starts to descend. Climate change is without a doubt the most burning issue facing viticulture, though extreme vineyards are not just an escape route – it’s also a question of style. Can there be more site-expressive wines than grapes grown almost touching the heavens?

When planted at height these vineyards are firmly continental in climate as opposed to those with ocean views moderated by the big blue.


What is the foundation of handcrafted wine?

Every vintage has significant unknowns, different rainfall and climatic changes are some of the elements that are out of our control. Even when asking Ken Forrester, Mr. Chenin, how to make the perfect Chenin Blanc he answers, “I wish I knew”. With all these unknowns, how does Ken Forrester approach producing a range of wines that have garnered admiration and can elevate any occasion?

The start is a philosophy to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably complement a wide variety of food styles and provide excellent value. This philosophy is combined with the vision to partner with committed staff that are cared for. Building from this sound foundation the focus in the vineyard is sustainability, using no herbicides or pesticides, and hands on. Tilling, pruning, thinning branches and leaves are all done by hand which is significantly labour intensive. This creates a high degree of induvial care for each vine and the results are very satisfying.


The World's Best Value Cabernets

It's the world's favorite wine grape, but the wines are so expensive. Or are they?

The wine world is in a constant state of change, but one great truism remains – Cabernet is king.

Or is it? Looking at our database, search numbers are softening – Pinot Noir is closing the gap and even Merlot is on the comeback trail – but Cabs and Cabernet blends still dominate our most searched-for wines. They also dominate the hierarchy of the wines with the most click-throughs – where a user finds the right wine at the right price and clicks through to the retailer.

There are good reasons why Cabernet still dominates these databases. It is, after all, the most popular grape variety in the world among consumers. It produces wines with great structure, vibrant flavor profiles and immense longevity; just what people want in a wine.


The return of Cinsault: it’s all about South Africa

Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service.

Writing about drinks has taken me all over the world – but few adventures are seared in my memory as vividly as the week I spent in Swartland, South Africa’s red-dust wine wilderness in the Western Cape.

By European standards, the wineries here are isolated: many lie at the end of long, axle-breaking tracks, on plots dwarfed by hazy-blue mountains. But the sense of community is strong. Whatever time I turned up, it seemed, there was always room for one more at the long refectory table at the heart of every household – and it was rarely long before someone was reaching for a corkscrew.


Proud Moments & Recent Accolades

Hollywood isn’t the only industry with an award season … Every year, as spring arrives in the Cape, the wine industry’s most notable competitions and Masters of Wine announce their annual picks for must-drink wines, and outstanding winery experiences.

While our wines have enjoyed continual success, we believe the real reward is in the enjoyment of the drinker. This year however, our wines have achieved some personal bests and Haute Cabrière was named amongst the Top 100 World’s Best Vineyards – so we’re taking a moment to show our team just how proud of them we are!

“Our spirited cellar team works hard to ensure that quality craftsmanship from vine to glass is always at the forefront,” comments Cellar Master, Takuan von Arnim. “I am enormously proud of all we have achieved as a team, and look forward to what the future for our wine estate holds!”


18 things to do in Tulbagh in the Cape Winelands

Jagged mountains and gnarled old oaks, the curve of a Cape Dutch gable, long rows of vineyards or fruit trees, a farm dam – these are the memories you’ll bring home from Tulbagh. In the Cape Winelands just a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, it’s a place to discover history and magnificent scenery, to explore things to do in Tulbagh.

Tulbagh lies in a bowl surrounded by the Witzenberg mountains to the east, Winterhoek mountains to the north – often snow-capped in winter – and the Obiqua mountains to the west. The town dates back to the early 1700s and is the fourth oldest in South Africa after Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Swellendam. Small wonder, then, that there are so many old buildings to admire. In fact, Church Street today has more Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian provincial heritage sites than any other street in the country.


Champagne and Cap Classique: What’s in a name ?

The word Champagne conjures up images of celebration and glasses filled with thousands of sparkling bubbles. Did you know that Champagne and Cap Classique (previously known as Method Cap Classique or MCC) are the names of a specific wine and not a style? Today, the 22nd of October we celebrate Champagne Day, let’s have a closer look at the similarities and differences of these beautiful wines.

As with any well-made wine, Champagne and Cap Classique are an expression of the terroir. Grapes are specifically grown where ripening is slow to retain acidity while allowing fruit character to develop. The acidity is the backbone that will keep the wine balanced.

Champagne is a region in France, northeast of Paris, where the terroir is a magical combination of chalky soils and cooler temperatures that sometimes keeps growing grapes on a knife edge. The French wine industry is steeped in tradition and guarded with strict regulations on what varietals can be grown where and how the wines are made.