Pinot noir for Kaapse Vonkel was picked with an impressively healthy appearance and text book analysis. We were especially pleased with the high levels of acidity bringing a welcome change from 2018, when the extreme drought caused lower acidity due to water stress and higher temperatures. Pinot noir surprised us with higher quantities than expected. The last Pinot to be picked came from the cool sites of Elgin on 1 February.
“Do you compete on price or do you have a story to tell?” This question by Vinpro’s Christo Conradie at the annual Industry Information day, got a lot of traction on Twitter. And it is an important question. One we all know the answer to. Or do we? In such a competitive environment, can it really be more about story than price?
“This morning the cellar smelled like mussels and I could hear the ocean in the background,” says winemaker of Cape Point Vineyards, Riandri Visser. “Just being here makes you feel instantly refreshed.
“The vineyards must also feel that energy; and that intensity hopefully carries over into the wines,” she says.
With uncertainty about land reform and a lack of economic growth, it is easy to be negative about the bigger picture for South African wine in 2019. But the takeaways from the annual Vinpro wine industry day, makes me see a glass that is half full.
Although I couldn’t attend South Africa’s most important wine industry information day, I am so thankful for getting real-time updates from the enthusiastic twitterati and after hearing the thoughts of colleagues who attended the event, I even dare to share some interpretations.
Q. When and where were you born ?
“I was born in Durban, South Africa in 1985.”
Q. Where did you study and what qualifications do you have ?
“I studied winemaking and viticulture at Elsenburg Agricultural College, qualifying with a B.Agric Viticulture and Oenology in 2006.”
La Motte Wine Estate has been appointed as the 2019 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards Winner for Best Food and Wine Matching Experience for an unprecedented fifth time!
The historic estate in the Franschhoek Wine Valley, acclaimed as South Africa’s culinary hotspot, has also received this exceptional recognition in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Yvonne Lester, committee member of the Merlot Forum – also known as Hallo Merlot! – and head winemaker at Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, talks about her career and Merlot.
One of South Africa’s top red wine cellars, the Stellenbosch producer is unrivalled as a Pinotage specialist with a range of four single-varietal expressions of South Africa’s most successful ‘indigenous’ wine grape cultivar, three Pinotage-led Cape Blends, one of the very few white wines in which the variety plays a role (together with Chenin Blanc), as well as a Pinotage Rosé and even a Cape Port with Pinotage at the helm. And wow, how the flagships have been showered with praise in 2018.
I have a real soft spot for Chenin Blanc, half of my father’s vineyard was planted to this grape, originally from the Loire Valley, though its plantings here are six times the size of the French vineyards. Chenin Blanc is also the largest planted wine grape in the winelands. Chenin Blanc was the first wine bottled on Simonsig Wine Estate by founder Frans Malan in 1968, so the 50th year this year of wine harvests on Simonsig.