Wine from South Africa
South African Wine
In the beautiful country of Southern Africa, comes the greatest product known to moms, girlfriends and wives from all over the world. Yes it is Wine, glorious wine!
Wine helps us to relax and take it easy but for many wine is for the connoisseur and it is sipped slowly and preciously after taking in the aroma and softly allowing the liquid to tantalise your taste buds whilst it sits on your tongue for a few seconds before enjoying the complete flavour after washing it gently down your throat.
Wine can be bought in boxes, plastic bottles and have screw top caps, while others can be made at home but the best of the best have been mastered by professionals who have the patience and time to harvest the most delectable of them all.
South Africa has one very good region where the rainfall and climate suit the process for grape farming. The Cape Province is where you will find the most amazing wines and in where these vines grow, you are able to experience everything at many of the vineyards... while you have a glass of their finest wine.
Cape Point, Cape Town
The Best of Cape Wines
Two Oceans meet in South Africa and if you climb to the top of the Cape Point, you will be able to see the fine line between the two as they meet up, swirling around very far beneath you.
There is a wine that has been made with the name "Two Oceans" and it is an affordable one, with a good taste to suit the average drinker, but I have so many to talk about and firstly, I would like to introduce the Estates, where the finest wines have been created and exported to countries all over the world. These places are picturesque and so beautiful, that you cannot travel without having at least one of these as a must see destination.
Jan van Riebeck, the founder of Cape Town produced the first wine recorded in South Africa, in 1659.
The Constantia Estate was established in 1685 in a valley facing False Bay, by the Governor Simon van der Stel. Stel was a wine maker and had done so for a very long time, bringing slaves into the country to help him produce his wine. He did so well that he was given the land and he wrote in his will that his children would inherit it and continue with the wine making but his sons were not in the Cape at the time of their father's death and the estate was auctioned off and divided. Groot Constantia was divided and became "Klein Constantia" also producing wine. The estate went through several owners including a women, who continued the wine making process.
Today Groot Constantia is a big business and you can go to the estate to watch how they do it and even take a look at all the history behind it.
Groot Constantia today, 300 years later , is still standing and still producing the finest wines. It is also a member of the Cape's "Big 6."
The label is called " Groot Constantia" and they have over fifteen wines to choose from.
Napoleon Bonaparte, Frederick The Great of Prussia and King Louis Philippe of France were buyers of Groot Constantia wine.
The History of Nederburg Estate
Nederburg Wine - Paarl, Cape Province
This is one of my favourite wines to drink because it is affordable and it tastes terrific. I love the red wines and I would recommend "Nederburg Baronne" for a cheese and wine party or a roast beef or lamb.
It has earned the highest number of five star ratings in the South African wine guide. They have a "Heritage Heroe's Collection," which contains many gourmet wines.
Philippus Wolvaart founded Nederburg Estate in 1791. The history of the estate is in the video and it is very interesting to take a look at. I am concentrating more on the wines that they produce and I have also been to the Estate, which is a must do for every wine lover.
The Nederburg Estate has been there for over two centuries and still has one of the best brands of wine to originate from South Africa.
It is a popular wine and can be found in almost every store in the country as well as a some in other countries but the exclusive gourmet wines can be found in exclusive restaurants and shops.
They have a "56 Hundred" label as well as the "Winemaster's Reserve," which consists of a Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage and Elderood, (aroma of strawberries, cherries and a mocha, vanilla background.)
The Cabernet Sauvignon, a red wine with aroma's of blackcurrent, cherries and a wood background, goes very well with barbeque chicken.
The label, "Ingenuity" is an Italian blend and is recommended with fusion foods such as Thai curry. The bottle looks attractive and unique and the wine itself is a bright ruby red with aroma's of cherries, blackberries, plums and a hint of oak spice.
The Nederburg Estate - Manor House
Philip Wolvaart completed his Cape Dutch Manor House with a thatched roof, yellow shutters and Batavian floor tiles. The house is a national monument today.
It is an "h" shaped home with a stable and obviously a cellar, which was built by Wolvaart. He built trees and made the home look very comfortable and warm.
The first wine that he produced was called "Edelkeur" which became South Africa's benchmark for dessert wines.
The Estate today can be visited and you must do the tour with a glass of their finest wine. They also have a restaurant that you can try if you feel a little tipsy.
Nederburg Wine Estate
KWV Wine - Paarl, Cape Province
Although this wine is produced in South Africa, this one is exported and very rarely seen on the shelves in stores. It has won many awards and they also make brandy that gets exported too.
KWV was founded in 1918 by South African farmers who wanted to support and stabilise the industry that was struggling. In 1924 the KWV Act was passed in parliament, allowing the export of products to other countries and by 1926, the first brandy was exported the the United Kingdom.
In 1935, the "Crayfish Agreement" was signed between France and South Africa, where South Africa was allowed to export crayfish in return, the word Champagne and Bordeaux were not allowed to be used on any other wines and was made exclusive to France. Therefore all champagnes made in South Africa or any other country, besides France is considered to be sparkling wine and not champagne.
Dr Charles Kohler was the first chairman of KWV in 1918 and ended his career in 1951, passing away the following year.
KWV opened up many doors for South Africa and the industry and their first wine which became a highly sort after product was called, "Roodeberg."
Vintage wines from KWV can be worth a fortune in todays market, especially considering it was a difficult wine to get a hold of in South Africa.
KWV can be found in countries all over the world and Germany has been a partner since the 1920's with Sweden and Finland joining in the 1990's, China from the 1960's and now Brazil, USA and Paraguay too.
Shopping for the right wine
This wine is one of South Africa's most popular wines and it is affordable and considered a table wine or house wine. It was first produced in 1932 and the first bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon based blend was served to the British Royal family on their visit to South Africa in 1947.
It was created by William Charles Winshaw and it is a lightly wooded dry red blend.
The original label which is well known to every household in the country was changed in 2011 after rumours of the wine failing to impress.
There is a variety of blends in this wine and I cannot say that it is the best wine if you are a connoisseur because there is a mix of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, merlot and petit verdot.
Cinsaut was a component until the turn of the century.
In 2012 Chateau Libertas turned 80 years old and the product is under the wing of a company called Distel.
If you happen to own a vintage Chateas Libertas, it could be worth a fortune today. In the 1970's a bottle sold for twenty - six rands and today it sells for thirty - four rand (three pounds, three dollars.) The vintage has sold for twenty two thousand rand!
Two Oceans Wine
Two Oceans wine got their name from the Cape Province where the two oceans; Atlantic and Indian meet. If you go to the Cape Point, after climbing for a while and withstanding the strong winds, you will be able to see the oceans joining.
The climate in the Western Cape with the sea breeze and the mist cooling down the temperatures of the grapes, allow for the grapes to develop in their own time with unique and intense flavours.
Two Oceans wine is made in an eco - sustainable principality.
This wine is also very popular in South Africa and it has a crisp and fresh taste that is affordable too.
South African Wine Routes
South Africa has so many things for you to see and experience, including flavours and spices that you have never tasted before.
There wine is unique and extraordinary, giving you the option to test it and taste it before you buy.
The wine route in the Cape Province is a fantastic adventure for wine lovers and it is something that you should do if you get there.
The wine routes have a lot to offer and the Stellenbosch wine route which was founded in 1971 has over 200 estates and grape producers to visit. It is the oldest wine route.
Franschoek Valley is beautiful and has over 40 estates to visit and the drive up the mountain has an amazing view. The Franschoek wine route has many of the farms that date back to the French Huguenots from centuries ago, which can show you so much history too.
The cap classic route is also in Franschoek where you can experience 9 cellars of sparkling wine.
There are a number of estates to visit and just the history alone, will interest you but the wine.....
That is another story all together!
Cheers, salute and whatever it is that you say! I am off to have a delicious, smooth and aromatic glass of wine, while I take a look at the two oceans with the cool, sea breeze against my face.