South African Wines

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Once again, we will be offering wine grapes from South Africa. For the last two years we have been sourcing Pinotage from the Breede River Valley. This year, we will also be offering Cabernet Sauvignon from the same grower in that valley as well as Cabernet from the Olifants River Region and the Stellenbosch District. We are also sourcing Pinotage grown at high altitude from bush vines in the Piekenierskloof Ward.

Pinotage – Breede River Valley Region, Breedekloof District

Pinotage is a red wine grape that is South Africa’s signature varietal. The grape is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (Hermitage) and was created in 1925 by Professor Abraham Perold. The variety combines the noble characteristics of the former with the reliability of the latter. Unique to South Africa, it can produce complex and fruity wines with age but is also often very drinkable when young. lt typically produces deep red wines with smoky, bramble, and earthy flavors, sometimes with notes of tropical fruits.

The Breede River Valley is a sheltered wine producing area in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges, the Breede River Valley is responsible for a large portion of the country’s total wine production.

This Pinotage is from the same family estate that we have been sourcing from over the last two years. The estate is located at the end of a narrow mountain valley and provides unique climatic conditions. The narrow valley creates a funnel effect that provides the estate with cooling winds in summer and sufficient rain fall and requires little irrigation. The valley has a Mediterranean climate. Significant temperature variation with warm days ensures good sugar development while the drop in temperature at night preserves the balance of natural acids in the grapes. The estate is 240 to 350 meters above sea level.

Varietal: Pinotage
Origin: Breede River Valley (Western Cape, South Africa)
Packaging: 20-pound crate
Expected Arrival Date: Middle of March, 2017

Cabernet Sauvignon – Breede River Valley Region, Breedekloof District

This Cabernet is grown by the same estate where we source the Breede River Valley Pinotage. Growers in this area are increasingly moving towards sustainable, non-irrigated cultivation, producing smaller, terroir focused wines. These grapes will be picked at optimal ripeness and you can expect good ripe berry flavors.

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: Breede River Valley (Western Cape, South Africa)
Packaging: 20-pound crate
Expected Arrival Date: Mid to end of April, 2017

Pinotage – Olifants River Region, Citrusdal Mountain District, Piekenierskloof Ward

The Piekenierskloof Ward is located in the Cederberg mountains near a nature reserve approximately 300 km north of Cape Town. A Ward is an area with a distinctive soil type or climate, and is roughly equivalent to a European appellation. Some of South Africa’s remotest and highest vineyards are found in this stand-alone ward. The Pinotage from this farm is grown at a high altitude (over 500m above sea level). The deep water retaining soils of this area sustain bush vines without irrigation through the long warm summers and are tempered with cool sea breezes at night. The reward comes in the form of small concentrated (grape) berries with well-balanced sugar, acid, tannin and color. These grapes produce exceptionally ripe and deep-flavored wines.

Varietal: Pinotage
Origin: Piekenierskloof (Western Cape; South Africa)
Packaging: 20-pound crate
Expected Arrival Date: Middle of March, 2017

Cabernet Sauvignon – Olifants River Region, Lutzville Valley District

The Olifants River Valley is one of the northern most wine regions in South Africa’s Western Cape. Vines were first planted in this area in the 1700s, after explorers and adventurers saw the potential of the land for agriculture. They have a hot dry climate, tempered by cool ocean breezes at night and cold temperatures during the Winter. Originally known for mass production of grapes, in recent years the region has raked in accolades for their Cabernet where yields are kept low. We are procuring from our grower Cabernet from older vines with low yields. This is a family run farm and the vineyard block has been hand selected for high quality grapes.

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: Olifants River (Western Cape; South Africa)
Packaging: 20-pound crate
Expected Arrival Date: Mid to end of April, 2017

Cabernet Sauvignon – Coastal Region, Stellenbosch District

Stellenbosch is perhaps the most famous wine-producing region in South Africa. The town is steeped in history and is home to the country’s best-known wine estates. Stellenbosch Cabernet is very sought after.

Granite and sandstone soils are found throughout Stellenbosch. Their high clay content means that while they are free-draining, they have excellent water-retention properties. Sufficient rainfall in winter allows growers to keep irrigation to a minimum. Much has been made of the suitability of the soils in Stellenbosch to produce premium red-wine grapes in particular.

This estate is in the Devon Valley just 10 minutes outside of the town of Stellenbosch and produces fine premium red wines. The grower pays meticulous attention to his vineyards which produce full, rich wines that age well with intense flavors.

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: Stellenbosch (Western Cape; South Africa)
Packaging: 20-pound crate
Expected Arrival Date: Mid to end of April, 2017

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