The New Wave South Africa tasting may be organised by five leading UK importers, but it would not be possible without the quality of wines they have to offer from the dynamic South African wine scene. So all credit must go to the collective recruitment and buying talents at Swig, Dreyfus Ashby, Indigo Wine, New Generation Wines and Fields Morris & Verdin for finding the right producers to work with. Like Kiara Scott of Brookdale Estate who is working with Indigo Wine to promote and push her wines into the UK.
The clock is ticking down to September 3 and what will be the third New Wave South Africa wine tasting which will feature exciting South African winemakers like Kiara Scott, winemaker at Brookdale Estate.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into wine?
I am Kiara Scott a 27 year old winemaker who enjoys salsa dancing. In terms how I got into wine, well, I grew up in a community where alcohol was abused. Instead of judging it and staying away from it like I was told, I decided I wanted to learn more about it. Lack of knowledge comes before a man’s downfall. I found out all I needed to know at Elsenberg where I studied winemaking.
I then joined the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé programme where I worked with David Neuwoudt (Cederberg Cellars), Carl van de Merwe (De Morgenzon) & Charles Hopkins (De Grendel). Inbetween I’ve worked in the Rhône Valley, Sancerrre and the Russian River in Sonoma, California.
Tell us about the winery and the kinds of wines you are making?
The Brookdale vineyards are situated at the foot of the lofty Du Toitskloof Pass in Paarl. The property was bought by the Rudd family and a replanting process began. Brookdale is focused on redoing things with more attention to detail. No expense is spared while keeping to traditional techniques. Here sustainable viticulture and farming for the future generations are important. Most of the vineyards were uprooted and only the old vine Chenin Blanc was kept.
The site is exposed to strong winds that reduce yields and offer much-needed cooling in Paarl’s warm climate. This site offers altitude and granite soils rich in clay and schist.
We are mainly making single vineyard and old vine Chenin Blanc wines. These wines will be aged and fermented in concrete eggs and a combination of new and older oak.
Brookdale is very excited about its unique blends. There is a white blend and 16 varietal field blend that will be fermented and aged in amphorae.
The red wines are Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Petit Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Petit Manseng and a 20 varietal field blend. The reds are aged in older barrels and a small percent of new oak will be used for the Touriga Nacional.
As the replanted vineyards “come of age” there will be a lot to look forward to as well.
What big changes have seen in South African winemaking in the last five years?
There is more innovation people pushing boundaries w.r.t winemaking styles and varieties. More transformation taking place in the industry.
What are the biggest opportunities for you as a winemaker now?
Being part of such an amazing industry with incredible camaraderie In the wine industry you meet the loveliest people. People who enjoy good wine, food and are the genuinely passionate about what they do.
Where are your biggest export markets and why?
The UK and the Netherlands. We plan to grow the export side.
What advice would you give UK buyers/ sommeliers about how best to understand what is going on in South Africa?
People are starting to understand vineyards. We are only starting to scratch the surface.
Why are you taking part in the New Wave tasting and what will you be showing?
Brookdale is a new brand. We’d like to “get out there” and show the UK market what we’ve got to offer. We will be showing our 2018 Chenin Blanc.
Any other plans for when you are over in the UK?
I’ll be spending a week in the UK visiting the trade and places such as 67 Pall Mall, Handford Wines and the Hedonism wine shop. It is also a great chance to taste some interesting wines from all over the world as there is such an incredible variety there. I will also spend some time seeing the sights.
I just can’t wait to see what’s going to come out of the new planting at Brookdale and South Africa in general. They say you should never wish time away but I can’t wait to get this terroir into bottle.
- You can keep up to date with the latest news about the New Wave event on Twitter at @NewWaveSA2019 and Instagram on newwavesouthafrica and at #newwaveSA.
- The Buyer will be featuring the other importers taking part and some of their South African winemakers taking part in the tasting over the coming weeks.
- You can also find out what is happening across the country as part of Wines of South Africa’s South African Wine Festival 2019 that is happening in the first week of September.
- That will include a special restaurant “safari” on September 2 that The Buyer is holding in partnership with Wines of South Africa where we will be taking a group of wine buyers, sommeliers and wine merchants on a tour of different restaurants where we will be meeting South African producers along the way, and tasting their wines paired with food from that restaurant’s menu.