Picasso wines

24 November, 2016

Waverley Hills marketing manager Tammy Nieuwoudt says: “To stay economically viable, SA has moved strongly into wine tourism. Farms don’t just produce wine any more, they offer visitors a unique experience. Expanding offerings at farms adds another stream of revenue and sets farms apart.”

Oldenburg Vineyards managing director and winemaker Philip Costandius also sees tourism as crucial. He says: “We need to leverage our country as a destination which offers great cuisine and fantastic wines together with awesome vistas. I believe that South African wine sales will grow strongly in value.”

Jack says: “There isn’t a corner of the western Cape that can’t produce beguiling, complex and delicious wine. We simply have no boring bits of land. Our Achilles’ heel is communicating this advantage. Also, perhaps, our weakness is not believing enough in our environment to deliver on this brilliance in the actual wine – some of our facilities are unsuited for the new era.

“So the real opportunity is multifaceted and is about focusing on and selling premium wine by being innovative and communicating the extraordinary strengths of nature we are blessed with. We should be turning our back on the bland, brandless, cheap, sweetened-up alcohol hit and embrace character, class and craft,” says Jack.

TRENDS

Glenelly’s Bureaur says: “You obviously have witnessed the trend in wines from the Swartland over the past five years – grapes coming from old bush vines, Rosa Kruger, the Swartland Revolution, etc. But I think future trends will be going back to more ‘established’ wine regions, with producers making wines in a modern style but with a long history behind them. I have in mind Stellenbosch, obviously, but also Constantia and Franschhoek.

“The key trend is a dire state of affairs,” says Jack. Those with big enough farms on fertile, homogenous enough soils are planting the same old varieties for massive production, lowest-price, wine – often irrigated Chenin Blanc and Colombard. There is a small interest in new and unusual varieties and [grapevine nursery] Vititec is championing this. Bring on more Barbera I say.”

Astrom says: “We see a strong trend for blends, both white and reds. The same for Mediterranean grapes. Suddenly Cinsault is trendy again. The recently planted vineyards will soon produce world-class wines from healthier farming and vines and create a general lift upwards.”

GRAPES

Jack says: “Pinotage has come of age. Actually it came of age a few years ago. Remember the variety has only been around for a few generations. It’s flipping delicious when grown properly and well made. It almost lives forever. Great Pinotage is like great Pinot Noir, Monastrell, Barbera, etc… a wonderful confirmation that life is worth the exploration, because there’s a treasure chest of satisfaction hidden almost everywhere that’s hard to access.

Nieuwoudt agrees: “We feel SA’s Pinotage is already world class. We have one of the best Pinotage producers in SA on our Tulbagh wine route – Rijks Cellar is one to look out for. Grenache is another variety to look out for from SA.”

Jack believes Sauvignon Blanc is a “work in progress” and SA’s best Chenin is “simply the best”.

“Sauvignon Blanc really has its own strong identity and obviously Chenin is truly a unique grape that is very suitable to some of our regions,” concurs Astrom.

Van der Watt states: “The plethora of niche offers such as dry land bush vine Cinsault, or Swartland Malbec or wooded Chenins as well as older coffee Pinotages etc will create enough interest from the buying fraternity.





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