If you are anything like me, your knowledge about South African Wine is basically that you like it. Even if someone gives me a course on wine, I don’t think I will even remember any of it.
I have been to many wine tastings before, and the assistant always says something along the lines of “we have used three different types of grapes” or “this wine has a fruity undertone”. Most of the time I just nod my head without actually being able to taste the fruitiness or any other flavours she says it has.
I don’t know the difference between Merlot and Pinotage or the difference between an oak cask (or is it called a barrel?) and a stainless steel cask. The fact that I know that there are two different types of casks is a miracle in itself. I do know, however, that we have some great South African Wines and most of the time I enjoy it, be it Merlot, Pinotage, Chardonnay, or, of course my all-time favourite, “pink” wine, more formally known as Rosé.
I think what makes South African Wine so great is the variety and history. No two wines is ever the same. How on earth do they do that?
My husband and I have been to a couple of wine farms and wine tastings, and even though I don’t understand most of the technical aspects behind the wine-making process, the amount of work going into the making of a great South African Wine and the history of the farm and the process that has been developed over decades to really make a quality wine has always fascinated me.
I have a great respect for those South African Wine farmers who have persevered, sweated in the sun, spent hours working the earth, planting, sowing, reaping, and who gave so much of themselves, failing and getting up to try yet once again, giving it their all to really and truly create a unique South African Wine. It is truly inspiring.
I must say, I am proud to live in a country with such a great history and such an amazing wine culture. There is nothing better or more beautiful than driving though the Cape Winelands and seeing the vineyard with their beautiful red grapes, and nothing more relaxing than sitting in front of the fire on a cold winter’s night with a glass of red wine.
You really have not lived until you have tasted a true South African Wine.