News

Melvyn Minnaar: The great art of La Motte

If it is my choice, I’ll take the fourth bottle in the six pack of the La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc 2019. Even though I’m not a great SB fan, this version is polished in a kind of French manner. But the reason for choosing No 4 in the box is personal: on the label is a stamp-sized picture of the Old Harbour of Hermanus, my town of origin.

What’s more, the pretty little image of the cracked old fishing haven (where my father many decades ago brought in a kabeljou that needed two men to carry) is a lino-cut print by J.H. Pierneef.

Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957) was a one-of-a-kind artist who lyrically documented the spread of the South African landscape in a unique style – and is now one of the most sought-after names for art collectors.


TOKARA Cabernet Sauvignon cracks UK Top 100 list

TOKARA’s highly acclaimed Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon from the standout 2017 vintage has staked its claim on the international stage with a Top 100 ranking in the United Kingdom.

This phenomenal wine also earned critical acclaim from the French with a 91 point medal in the 2020 Gilbert & Gaillard International Challenge, and was lauded Top 10 on home turf in the 2020 Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report.

The Wine Merchant Top 100 wine list is published annually in The Wine Merchant Magazine, the UK’s only trade publication devoted entirely to specialist independent wine retailers. The wines are judged exclusively by independent UK retailers.


A word of thanks from Simonsig Wine Estate

To say 2020 has been a torrid time is an understatement, but it has shown the mettle of South Africans. While the regulations on the industry have been relieved, we continue to stand in solidarity with the wider hospitality industry on the journey to recovery.

In terms of our own industry, the international #SaveSAWine campaign helped put our plight and much-needed exports in stark focus. We share the industry’s gratitude for the support from our international friends.

To see who many of them are, visit us at www.simonsig.co.za to locate our agents in Europe, the UK, Africa & Middle East, Americas, Asia and Australia.


Alcohol ban lifted, but still a long road to recovery ahead for SA wine industry

The South African wine industry acknowledges tonight’s announcement by president Ramaphosa to resume local trade and distribution of alcohol under alert level 2 from midnight 17 August 2020, but says the industry still has a long road to recovery.

“Although we are grateful to start trading and delivering online sales again, we are dismayed at the extent of the damage caused to our industry during the temporary ban on exports and extended restrictions on local sales,” says Rico Basson, MD of the wine industry organisation Vinpro.

“It might be too little too late. Many wine businesses have already closed down and a long road to recovery lies ahead for the industry as a whole,” says Basson.


TOKARA trifecta with three Top 10 champion Reserve reds

TOKARA has swept the board with all three Reserve reds from the standout 2017 vintage clinching Top 10 status in consecutive South African wine reports.

The TOKARA champions are the Reserve Collection Syrah, the Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon and the top tier Director’s Reserve Red. These formidable wines secured Top 10 rankings respectively in the 2020 Prescient Shiraz Report, the Cabernet Sauvignon Report and the Cape Bordeaux Red Blend Report, all convened annually by Winemag.co.za.

“The recognition of our top tier wines by respected commentators in the wake of the Ferreira family’s 20th vintage celebration last year, bodes well for the future of TOKARA.."


Partnership – the only choice

It is hard not to be moved by the phenomenal international support for South African wine via social media groups such as SaveSAWine and MoveOneMillion. We’ve been debating whether wine really can be more than product, but perhaps the dire circumstances we’re currently facing reaffirm the importance of people and perception when it comes to wine.

This week I joined a discussion addressing exactly these issues. Talking to the passionate CEO of Agbiz, Dr John Purchase, Vinpro’s Rico Basson, Maryna Callow from WOSA and co-wine farmer Beyers Truter, I couldn’t help but to find some positivity in what is a very bleak time for the Winelands.


Simonsig Wine Estate, Francois-Jacques Malan, tells me what’s up on the Family Estate…

I spoke to Francois-Jacques Malan [thrid generation Malan on the Simosnig Wine Estate] recently about what has been happening on the Estate. Not only are they very busy at harvest time, they are busy for the rest of the year, finishing off last year’s harvest and preparing for summer when it all starts again.

He said “ The month of July has certainly been a one of the toughest we had to endure, with another ban on wine sales imposed on us on the 12’th of July. It certainly forced us to unexpectedly change and/or delay some of our plans.

This time, the industry stood together to fight the regulations we felt were unjust and unscientific.


South African Cabernet Sauvignon: 40 wines to buy

Great things are being achieved in the Cape with this most famous of Bordeaux varieties, with production techniques and styles evolving fast. Here, Christian Eedes recommends the 40 wines he scored highest when blind-tasting a line-up of 106 wines recently.

Cabernet Sauvignon is South Africa’s most widely planted red grape and third most-planted variety overall – 10,087ha were in the ground by the end of 2019, equivalent to 11% of the national vineyard. It has been around since the late part of the 19th century and traditionally made South Africa’s most prestigious reds. That said, one of the reasons it is so ubiquitous is because of how adaptable it is, retaining a recognisable character even when planted in less suitable locations.


The Journal: New Wines Honouring the Heritage of Diemersdal

Diemersdal Estate in Durbanville has released a new top-tier range of wines incorporating individually grown and crafted Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. Called The Journal, the range honours the legacy and history of Diemersdal and the Louw family, the sixth generation of which are now presiding over the estate in the person of owner-winemaker Thys Louw.

The three wines in The Journal series are a Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 and Pinotage 2018 representing the finest offerings from Diemersdal made from site-specific, low-yield dryland vineyards on this well-known Durbanville property.

The name The Journal was chosen by Louw to encapsulate the continuous legacy of Diemersdal’s winemaking tradition and history.