Wine Tasting - South African Red Blends|
JANUARY 12TH 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
We will be tasting new releases of South African Red Blends, for inclusion on our list. The establishment by the Dutch East India Company of a refreshment station at the Cape in 1652 had one single aim: to provide fresh food to the company's merchant fleet on their voyages to India and surrounding areas. Jan van Riebeeck, the first governor of the Cape, planted a vineyard in 1655, and on 2 February 1659, the first wine was made from Cape grapes. Van Riebeeck strongly encouraged farmers to plant vineyards although initially they were most reluctant. There were many setbacks in the beginning, chiefly because of the farmers' ignorance of viticulture. Things improved when Van Riebeeck was succeeded in 1679 by Simon van der Stel, who was not only enthusiastic but very knowledgeable about viticulture and winemaking. He planted a vineyard on his farm Constantia and made good wine from the outset. The Dutch had almost no wine tradition and it was only after the French Huguenots settled at the Cape between 1680 and 1690 that the wine industry began to flourish. Most of the Cape's winegrowing regions are influenced by one of the two mighty oceans which meet at this southernmost tip of Africa: the Atlantic and the Indian oceans. Combine beneficial maritime influences like regular coastal fog and cooling sea breezes with a moderate Mediterranean climate, distinctive and varied topography, and diverse soils, and you have the ideal conditions in which to create wines of unique character and complexity. South Africa is increasingly moving towards the red blend in order to produce excellent wines. This is a good idea, since they can make distinctive South African wines that are unavailable anywhere else in the world. The focus of these red blends has been on the use of purely red wines (rather than a mix of reds with white as a softener), and they are often called 'Cape blends' in order to distinguish them from any other type of blends from other parts of the world. The format will be casual, walk around with cheese and bread.
The wines featured will be:
Graham Beck, Shiraz/Cabernet, Western Cape 2009
Douglas Green, "The Beach House", Western Cape 2011
Neil Ellis, "The Left Bank", Western Cape 2009
Badenhorst Family Wines, "Secateurs", Coastal Region 2010
Boekenhoutskloof, "The Chocolate Block", Western Cape 2010
A sign-up sheet will be available at the front desk (253-5742 or 800-826-7000) and there will be a $20.00 fee per person.
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