With so many premium South African winemakers already trying to find their way in the UK it can be a challenge for another name to make their mark. But having recently been taken over by the major German wine company, Reh Kendermann, and its strong ties in the UK, Napier Vineyards in Wellington and its chief winemaker, Leon Bester, are hopeful their time is yet to come.
Even by today’s standards the story behind Margaret River’s Cloudburst is an exceptional one. How an American biologist looking for a new lease of life plants vines against advice and, from a half hectare plot and with five year-old vines, wins the top Cabernet Sauvignon gongs with his very first vintage in Margaret River of all places. Peter Dean tastes the wines with Will Berliner, owner and winemaker.
Emma Diggory travels to Georgia to discover first hand why there’s so much fuss about its wines – visiting a range of wineries, including a 6th Century monastery making 60 tons of qvevri wines, to former Soviet-controlled cooperatives that are resurrecting themselves into modern outfits. Along the way she samples local cuisine and gives insight and tips on what wines to buy and where to buy them.
When The Buyer visited China’s Ningxia winemaking region in August, we discovered many exciting developments in this rapidly changing region. The wine quality was variable, however, especially to Western palates, but there was one winery that stood out head and shoulders above the rest and that was Silver Heights. Victor Smart was blown away by the winery’s Emma’s Reserve – mind you it is only available in magnum and does cost £400 a bottle.
Ryan Mostert with his Silverwis and Terracura wineries is proud to be one of the younger, smaller players that are making waves of their own in South Africa. But he says he could not be making the wines he wants at Silverwis & Terracura without the support of his fellow New Wave winemakers across the Cape that together have been able to create an “incredible energy” to make “authentic wines”.
“These are exciting times. The possibilities seem endless!” That’s how Reyneke’s Rudiger Gretschel sees the future not just for himself but for South Africa as a whole as it moves ever closer to making world class, site specific, uniques wines. Go and taste his range of organic and biodynamic wines today at the New Wave South Africa tasting on the New Generation McKinley stand.
The countdown really is on for this week’s New Wave South African tasting with winemakers heading to the UK to show their cutting edge wines. Leon Coetzee of Fledge & Co will be exhibiting for the first time and promises not just good wines to taste but to “crack a few jokes and talk the hind leg off a donkey if you drop by our stand”…you have been warned.
The Sideways “effect” clearly had no impact on Australia’s Dave Bicknell. The acclaimed winemaker from the Yarra Valley and his award winning Oakridge Wines claims to have never seen Hollywood’s iconic homage to Pinot Noir. He is too busy working and making his style of Pinot Noir which he will be sharing at next week’s first Pinot Noir Alliance event in London.
As a former hot air balloon pilot and restaurateur, Richard Davies, is using to take a few risks in his career, but as he tells, Helen Arnold, launching a new rum in to an already heaving category was certainly a leap of faith. It looks, though, to be paying off within only six months of launching with some international medals and high end accounts under its belt.
You can tell when a winemaker stands out in their market when fellow winemakers consistently pick them out as someone they respect, admire or look to advice from. South Africa’s Chris and Andrea Mullineux certainly fall into that category. They are also a winemaking team others want to collaborate with. You can see and taste their wines for yourself at next month’s New Wave South African wine tasting on October 11.