Klein Constantia Estate – Mastering Site-Specific Sauvignon Blanc in the Cape…

Klein Constantia's emphasis has recently been re-engineered and re-imagined with a renewed emphasis on the exceptional Sauvignon Blanc terroirs of the ancient Constantia estate. With the Vin de Constance sweet wine project reaching new heights of quality annually, together with the accompanying international critical praise, this has allowed the powers at Klein Constantia to dedicate more thought and resources to the future potential of Sauvignon Blanc as well as the red wines at Anwilka in Stellenbosch.

Head winemaker Matt Day, explained that he has learnt a lot from the single vineyard block wines over the past few years as well as from the Metis joint-venture project with Pouilly Fume producer Pascal Jolivet, inspiring him and his team to refine the knowledge and knowhow acquired over the past years and channel it into the estate’s white Sauvignon Blanc wine range.

Michelangelo to continue as usual in 2021 – with a full contingent of international tasters

The 25th Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards is set to be held in August this year, and this year with a full panel of international wine and spirits judges.

“We are confident that we will be able to return to the competition’s leading advantage again in 2021, namely it’s international judging panels,” says founder and organiser of the awards, Lorraine Immelman.

“To date we have secured 23 judges from 15 countries,all of which are professional wine and spirits tasters who regularly participate in other global competitions such as Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, IWSC, Vinitaly and Mundus Vini.

The Best Wine Farms in Franschhoek

Open for business and ready to pour.

Characterised by towering oaks, rolling vineyards, Cape Dutch architecture and French flair, Franschhoek dates back to 1688, when 150 Huguenots arrived in the region, armed with winemaking skills (and a throng of other attributes that contributed irrevocably to the course of our country’s history).

Heading into the valley, first-time visitors are often struck by how deep its Gallic roots run: from the French-named wineries, hotels and restaurants to the Parisian-style café society lining the eminently walkable high street to the classic, elegant wines produced here.

According to Vignerons de Franschhoek, there are 45 wineries in the region, ranging from regal and rustic to big-name and boutique, one as beautiful as the next, all of which produce astonishingly good wines.

Results of the inaugural Viognier Challenge

The inaugural Viognier Challenge was held at Vrede and Lust on Tuesday March 16th 2021. There were 24 entries of single variety wines, with no limitation made on whether they were oaked or not.

The wines were judged blind, using the international 100 point system. The 5-person panel consisted of Christine Rudman (Chairperson); Michael Bampfield-Duggan; Greg Mutambe; Samarie Smith and Malu Lambert.

They were given no indication of origin or vintage, or whether then wines were oaked. No discussion was permitted during the tasting, with a general report of overall impressions taking place afterwards. The tasting was audited by Cecil Kilpin & Company.

The high number of gold medals awarded (75 %) reflect the quality of the entries.

Inaugural Great BIG Wine Survey delivers great BIG insights into wine consumer behaviour

A taste of the vast store of insights gleaned from the Great BIG Wine Survey brought to you by Hollard has been released in an initial report available at no cost to wine producers, analysing South Africa’s curious relationship with wine across abroad spectrum of income and age brackets.

The in-depth analysis and publishing of findings is a collaboration between TOPS at SPAR Wine Show; KLA, a leading independent consumer insights agency;and Peter McAtamney, founding Principal of Wine Business Solutions (WBS), which provides strategic consultancy services to the wine industry on a global level. The North West University’s TREES (Tourism Research in Economics, Environs and Society) research unit played a pivotal role in establishing the terms of reference for the research study.

Stellenbosch Wine Routes celebrates half-century of leadership and innovation

SA’s first wine route to remain collaborative pace-setter in wine tourism.

The Stellenbosch Wine Routes celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, a milestone that also marks the birth of South African wine tourism.

Beyond offering the highest density of exceptional premium wines in South Africa, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes paved the way for the creation of the country’s wine tourism, an industry that contributes R7.2bn to GDP per year.

“The occasion of our 50th comes at a most opportune time,” says Stellenbosch Wine Routes chairman, Mike Ratcliffe. “The wine industry and indeed, the country, is undergoing one of its most challenging seasons and reflecting on historic achievements is important for the inspiration it provides given the work that awaits us.”

Grape Courage

Among all last year’s challenges as well as the worries about our health and the immense pressure on our industry, there was at least one brilliant blessing – an extraordinary growing season for wine grapes in South Africa.

Remember the exceptionally cold and wet winter of 2020? While most of us stayed home, probably trying out that stationary bike or attempting home schooling from under the covers, the Cape vineyards enjoyed the (more than usual) quiet season with proper dormancy. Winter cold is what the vine wants (read more) and followed by a relatively cool summer, South African winemakers and viticulturist are excited about the quality of the 2021 vintage.

La Motte Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche is known for a more restrained, elegant style of wine and such a growing season is what his winemaking dreams are made of.

Days of wine by the barrel are drying up for South Africa’s farmers and vinters

In the past five years, the local wine industry has shrunk by 10%. This is almost expected, because the global wine industry has lost 2.5 million hectares of grape vineyards since the 1990s.

So said Professor Nick Vink, emeritus professor in Stellenbosch University’s agricultural economics department.

According to Vink, in the past five years wine production has dropped from 1,200 million litres to 1,100 million litres, and grape production from 1.5 million tonnes in 2014 to 1.4 million tons.

The number of wine cellars went from 566 to 505 during this time, he said.

About 15 years ago, South Africa’s vineyards stood at 105,000 hectares; these had dropped to 92,000 hectares by 2019, according to Maryna Calow, spokesperson for Wines of South Africa (Wosa).

Tokara Sauvignon Blanc crowned best in the world in Brussels

Tokara Sauvignon Blanc has claimed its rightful place on the world stage as overall winner of the 12th Concours Mondial du Sauvignon in Brussels.

Best Sauvignon of the Competition and the only South African wine to bring home a trophy, Tokara Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2020 is a cool climate showstopper from Tokara’s Elgin vineyards and another feather in winemaker Stuart Botha’s cap.

“Originating from arguably the finest terroir in the country, the wine showcases an exquisite aromatic diversity. Headed up by creamy passion fruit and blackcurrant leaf, the nose is tantalising and demands a taste. Zesty green apples interplay with a creamy mid-palate and saline finish,” is how Botha describes this highly acclaimed gold medallist.