There are several reasons to conclude that South African wines ought to be in high demand. First, it has over 400 years of winemaking history. Second It leads the world in environmental sustainability, in supposedly, our conscious effort to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. In addition, the University of Stellenbosch is ranked as the top five most advanced global institutions for viticulture research. Impressively, including institutions specifically for wine and cellar biotechnology, along with a school dedicated to the study of international competitive table wine grapes industries. I will also mention, their wines won’t put a dent in your wallet. There is then the final salute as to why all of you should gather cartfuls of South African wines, just as you have been with paper towels as of recent. Out of 195 wine-producing countries in the world, South Africa ranks, ninth. How do you like them grapes?!
DELAIRE GRAFF BOTMASKOP 2016 STELLENBOSCH SOUTH AFRICA
The Delaire Graff Estate describes themselves as “The Jewel of the Cape Winelands” in the core of South Africa’s Stellenbosch Valley. Laurence Graff, businessman first, jeweler second and winery, well, last, is the man behind this label. The Romanian/Russian, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International, designed jewelry for sultans, and many royal courts. Is this wine made by design for the world’s most discerning clientele?
LIEVLAND VINEYARDS OLD VINES CHENIN BLANC 2017 PAARL
In 1715 snuggled along the Simonsberg Mountains lies the Lievland Farmhouse (“love land” in Afrikaans), between Stellenbosch and Paarl. In 1973 renegade producer Paul Benade saw the potential of the land, bought it, and replanted its quality wine grapes. Along with his famous neighbors, Kanonkop and Warwick wineries, it clearly explains why these two wine-growing regions are settled with star producers. The climate, location, and soil on the slopes are favorable to the cultivation of high-quality grapes, and some of the Cape’s best-known wines are made here.
Graham Beck Brut Rose, Non Vintage
Graham Beck, the most celebrated man in South Africa. In 1983 the entrepreneur trailblazed the sparkling wine industry In South Africa by progressing the style onto the international market. He continued to specialize in it within Madiba, Robertson, ground zero for extensive plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes used for sparklers. In 1994 he was credited for the official name sparkling wines produced in South Africa, Method Cap Classique. It is a term used to denote a sparkling wine produced using traditional methods. In 2006 it was in response to Champagne’s assertive lobbying to protect the name and prevent anyone from using Champagne on their label. South Africa is only one of two countries in the world to come up with an original term, the other being famous Spain’s Cava.
Trailblazing is how I describe this house in a region that’s long been associated with plonk wine for centuries. Plagued in the past by the Bordelais protectionists who scandalously enacted laws to block exports of wines produced in the Languedoc. Enter the Guibert family who discovered the possibility that the Languedoc is a force to reckon with for quality wine. There are many progressive wine producers in this territory who have made their presence on the international market, but no one has come close to what the house of De Daumas Gassac has accomplished in 50 years.
VOLCANIC LANDSCAPES AND WINE OH MY!
The pristine image of the Canary Islands off the coast of the Iberian peninsula is most noted for its ominous volcanoes, undulating scenery, and infinite beaches. The likeliness of coming across a bottle of wine from these islands would never occur to me. I encountered this gem looking for a white wine from southern Spain and was instantly inspired to review it.
Fit to Drink Or Not To Drink that is the question?
This sparkler attracted my curiosity with the name FitVine. I spotted this bottle at one of my favorite ethnic markets, Wholesome Choice; a middle eastern centric market. I’m always looking for new items, and since I had just finished a workout, I was instantly humored. At $ 20, on a Tuesday, I never need a reason to pop open a bottle of bubbles. Now, why would a middle eastern market be stocking an Italian sparkler with a novelty label about fitness? We are here to find out.
BELIEVING IN GIANT STEPS
Phil Sexton has taken giant steps throughout Australia since 1997, developing a respected reputation as a mover and shaker. Admirably he created several well-established brands including Matilda Bay Brewery in Victoria, Little Creatures and Devil’s Lair in Western Australia, and Innocent Bystander in the Yarra Valley. However, he wanted to dedicate his efforts to producing polished sophisticated wines from single vineyards based on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
WHO IS JEAN BAPTISTE PATRIARCHE?
This portrayal of a visionary man Jean Baptiste Patriarche made Maison Patriarche one of the most important houses in Burgundy. At the age of 22, the entrepreneur’s established trading offices in a historic convent, Vistadines de Beaune. He then expanded into other countries such as Germany, England & Belgium. The creator of fashionable wines unsurprisingly had his hands in several enterprises.
There is a solid reason why southern Italy should be on everyone’s radar. There are a plethora of native grapes that quality-minded producers are crafting wines from. Forget the vast boring wines made from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, let me tantalize you with Fiano. I like how Joseph Bastianich (restaurateur winemaker and personality) describes Fiano; “ Pesto In A Glass!”