S A WINES
"for the 5 senses + my last vist"
South African wines industry began with the arival of Jan Van Riebeek from Holland in 1652, since then it has grown to levels where the products compare with the world's best.
9 march 2008 from Homepage *
be it the CBC or Ottawa Citizen or weather network, SNOW is the topic, my shoulders and back are tired and sore from shovelling snow
we're close the breaking the winter record in Ottawa for amount of snow,
very different to rain in it's various modes, falls and then flows away.
SNOW lingers and with winds , dances before one, enthralling it's audiences day and night.
despite the clock springing forward leaving us with an hour less sleep,
for the past 24 hours, during the fall and lulls, i have been keenly watching the news and since 11 am Saturday am watch the continuous fall pile up around the house and neighbourhood - fun sharing with Mother Earth her seasonal changes
from the sa trip
Monday 31st 2007 , we departed for Cape Town, via a few Wineries, pity that most en route were closed,
we however were fortunate to get to De Grendel - the de Villiers Graaf Estate, with amazing view of Table Mountain and Devils peak
New year Eve at the Waterfront was uneventful , a disappointment, especially checking into the Cape Town Westin Grand [ Sheraton Arabella ]
Stellenbosch Mayvilla B & B was homely and friendly
Fine dinner at the Volkskombuis
Cape winelands always exciting; this time we had a Master Sommelier taking us to two small wineries, Mont du Toit and Colmart, lunch at Franschoek, followed by tasting at Graham Beck and Boschendal, with it's historic buildings
More wineries, Asara, le Riche and uiterwyk-de Waal before heading back to the airport for another Mango flight back to Pretoria via O R Tambo Airport
Whilst in Pretoria and Johannesburg area, a big fat ~ree~ wedding was raison d'etre for the trip down below the tropic of Capricorn, but it also enabled us to visit Johannesburg central and Soweto.
"the different Wine regions"
the Wineries that I have visited shall be covered under travelogues under the regions name
===e.g. Overberg, Klein Karoo
or the Wine Routes name
===e.g. Franschoek, Wellington, Swartland
The wines are hailed as excellent to poor as ...
but it is in many countries, especially the Hard currency countries,
Europe, USA and Japan,
the most undervalued wines;
A pity though that the South African wines industry ,
wwre forced into their laager of isolation by world economic and political sanctions prior to 1994, lose their edge to catch up with international marketing.
"Vin de Constance"
The re-creation of the famous Constantia wine made in the 18th and 19th centuries, and presented in a replica of the original half-litre bottle. ===Demanded by Napoleon, King Louis Philippe, George IV, Frederick the Great and Bismarck, this is now reputedly Nelson Mandela's favourite wine.
===Made from raisined Muscat de Frotignan grapes, believed to be the same clone originally planted in Constantia.
===A deep gold, natural sweet wine, matured for two years in French oak, and not fortified
Cradle of South African winemaking is the verdant valley of Constantia, where in 1685 the first Dutch Governor, Simon van der Stel, secured a land grant from the ruling Dutch East India Company. He named it Constantia - and planted some 100,000 vines. The vineyards of Klein (small) Constantia were once part of this historic farm. It was in these vineyards that grapes were grown for the world-famous Constantia wijn, sought-after by the 18th and 19th century aristocracy, requested by Napoleon , and praised in the novels of Dickens and Jane Austen.
===A Cape Dutch homestead graces the 146 hectare estate and the winery, with its vaulted barrel maturation cellars, was partially sunk below ground level to minimise its impact.
===It is the only wine cellar in Southern Africa to have won a merit award from the South African Institute of Architects who rated it "a sensitive adornment to an important historical estate."
International Wine authority Hugh Johnson has this to say of the wines:
"From these Elysian fields used to come one of the very greatest wines of the world. Constantia was bought by the European courts in the early 19th century in preference to Yquem, Tokay, Madeira...an indication that the Cape is capable of producing wines of the very highest class."
"this is now reputedly Nelson Mandela's favourite w"
"It's a stones throw away"
Klein Constantia lies on the narrow Cape peninsula that juts into the South Atlantic ocean, some 20 kilometres from Cape Town. Set amid trees and lush greenery on the slopes of Constantia Mountain, with superb views across the valley and False Bay, it has frequently been described as one of the world's most beautiful vineyard locations.
in relation to the rest of south africa