Archive for November, 2010
South African climate, soil and wine growing conditions are different from region to region as the wide range of bio-diversity affects wine production.
From the tip of the African continent, where the two great oceans meet at Cape Agulhas, to deep in the desert-like Karoo and the Free State – such is the stretch of South Africa’s wine regions. Nearly 60 officially declared appellations cover more than 100 000 hectares.
A Wine of Origin scheme was introduced in 1973 that designated production regions, districts and wards. The latter is the smallest geographical unit with distinctive ecological characteristics. Official estates consist of single farms or multiple properties run as a unit.
It has often been noted that the Cape winelands are probably the most scenic in the world. For this reason wine tourism is one of the country’s growing industries. Offering a range of topographical pleasures ranging from high, snowy mountains to arid plains, arrangements for tourists are becoming more and more sophisticated in the various regions.
There are 15 very well organised Wine Route Associations, and information about accommodation, eateries and visits to cellars and farms is readily available through booklets, travel agents and the internet.
Iconic and award winning Kumkani wines embody the rich traditions and cultures of South Africa. The grapes are mainly produced in the Darling and Stellenbosch areas and cellar tastings can be done at our Welmoed cellar.
Chenin Blanc is one of South Africa’s trademark white wine varietals and it seems that the wine loving world is taking note of this versatile cultivar.
The grape may have been one of the first to be grown in South Africa by Jan van Riebeeck in 1655, or it may have come to that country with Huguenots fleeing France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
Chenin Blanc provides a fairly neutral palate for the expression of terroir, vintage variation and the winemaker’s treatment. In cool areas the juice is sweet but high in acid with a body full-bodied fruity palate.
Iconic South African wine brand Kumkani has an excellent Chenin Blanc. This medium- to full-bodied wine has intense primary citrus fruit on nose and underlying notes of guava and apple aromas. Palate a mouthful with good acidity and well integrated honey and vanilla flavours derived from the smart oak selection used in this wine.
National carrier, South African Airways (SAA), has selected the award-winning Kumkani Lanner Hill Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2009 as one of their premium class white wines, and this wine also won the Best Overall White Wine at the SAA Awards ceremony.
The wines were tasted by a panel of judges as part of the 2011 SAA Wine Selection, and Kumkani Lanner Hill emerged as a firm favourite in the Sauvignon Blanc category, and subsequently winning the prestigious Best Overall White Wine award for the third time.
It has previously been named the top Sauvignon Blanc in the Swartland and Darling District at the South African Terroir Awards and was also awarded a sterling 4 ½ stars by WINE magazine this year, proving the wine’s consistently superb quality.
The company of wine peopleTM’s Brand and Business Development Manager for SA and SADC, Corne Oosthuizen, said: “Kumkani is a sophisticated, contemporary, new style of wine and it embodies the finest modern treasures Africa has to offer. Kumkani is the premium brand of the company of wine peopleTM and continues to deliver on quality as in the case of our award-winning Kumkani Lanner Hill Sauvignon Blanc”.
The grapes for this wine are harvested from a single vineyard block in the Groenekloof region (near Darling). This location has proven to be ideal for producing grapes with intense flavour and crispness. Kumkani Lanner Hill Sauvignon Blanc is a well-balanced, wine with expressive varietal aromas, ripe gooseberry flavours, a rich palate and a lingering finish. The wine undergoes no oak treatment. It complements a variety of inherently South African dishes such as game or lamb, served with a fresh salad.
The Kumkani Lanner Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2009 retails for R99 at the Welmoed cellar door (tel: 021 881 8062) and is also available at selected retail outlets.
Lovers of sparkling wine will be able to taste a selection of the Cape’s top Methode Cap Classique (MCC) sparkling wine at tonight’s public tastings in Johannesburg.
The event will be hosted by Wine Magazine and include a line-up of all the top scoring entrants to the recent Amorim Cork Cap Classique Challenge.
The Johannesburg tasting will take place at the Sandton Sun on November 11 at 6.30pm.
The tastings will be presented by Jean-Philippe Colmant of Colmant Cap Classique and Champagne.
The Kumkani Infiniti MCC 2004 will be one of the wines as it received the best vintage prize in the Amorim Cork Cap Classique Challenge.
For more info visit: winemag.co.za
South African artist John Botham’s Cape Winelands exhibition will be held at Welmoed on 12 November. Join us for a glass of wine.
Inspired by the South African countryside with its dramatic colors and abstract shapes, John Botham dedicates his days in studio to transforming these images into oils on canvas.
He paints the beauty of landscape, of creation, and of simply magical moments, such as the break of day.
Info about the artist
South African wine has developed in leaps and bounds as the Rainbow Nations has truly established itself as a quality wine country.
At helm of the success of South African wines in the global markets are Wines of South Africa (WOSA). This institution started ten years ago and has elevated the perception of South African wine to new highs in all the major global wine markets.
Su Birch , CEO of WOSA, recently said strategies of opening new markets for SA wines has been successful as exports grew and more countries are selling SA wines.
Su Birch writes:
“South Africa’s traditional export market is Europe. When we re-entered the international wine market in the early 90s, two countries accounted for almost all our exports. Those were the countries with which SA had the strongest colonial ties, namely the UK and Netherlands.
In 2000, when Wines of South Africa (WOSA) was started, the UK and Netherlands still accounted for 70% of packaged wine exports. The industry adopted a strategy to open up new markets and, while growing exports, to also diversify risk. Today, five countries would have to be included to reach that 70% figure, namely the UK, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. The Netherlands, which in 2000 accounted for 21%, is now at 9%, and the UK has dropped from 48% to 31%, yet in both countries we have significantly increased market share. It is cost-effective for our producers to work across Europe and the image of South Africa is strongest in countries where our tourism market share is highest. South Africa has a competitive advantage in Europe, as we have the shortest shipping time of all southern hemisphere wine countries.” Read more:
Iconic South African wine brand, Kumkani, congratulates WOSA on their 10th year and salutes their efforts to promote SA wine globally.
The wines were judged (in a blind tasting by a panel of judges) in four categories, namely best non-vintage, vintage, Blanc de Blancs and Rosé.
Made by winemaker Nicky Versfeld, from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, Kumkani Infiniti 2004 has a good, frothy mousse, and a fine, hazy bead with a toasty, yeasty nose. It has a creamy entrance with a rich, complex palate of nuts, warm toast and medium spicy, fruity candy flavours with a complex, full persistent finish. Delicious served on its own, with oysters or a decadent breakfast, Kumkani Infiniti is ideal for any occasion.
Brand and Business Development Manager (SA and SADC), Corne Oosthuizen, said the award cements Kumkani’s status as one of South Africa’s top quality wines.
Kumkani Infiniti 2004 is available from Welmoed cellar door (tel: 021 881-8062), and retails for R70 per bottle.
Visit www.kumkani.com for more details.
Aging wines has certain guidelines and if you believe that storing is a vital part of enjoying wine , you’ll know that under the stairs isn’t the best place for your precious wine collection.
A few tips on storing wine:
Make sure you keep it somewhere where the temperature is stable from day to night and season to season. This can be a purpose-built facility or private cellar. That failing, avoid windows, external walls or anywhere near a kitchen. Between 12-18 degrees Celsius is optimum, and based on the average temperature of the great European cellars.
Store wine away from vibrations. This includes subwoofers, speakers, air-conditioners and hot water units. Vibrations affect chemical reactions in the wine.
Keep wine in the dark and avoid sunlight at all costs.
Choose wines that are prone to age well and read the indications and tasting notes about the best time to drink the wine.
The multi award-winning Kumkani Cradle Hill Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine which is perfectly suited for aging. This amazing wine would be great to enjoy now but could be enjoyed up to seven years from vintage.