New Zealand and South African Wine – Amazing Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling (and many other wines too!): Chapter 1…

April 21st, 2010 | Posted by

A much delayed report on my visit to South Africa – but better late than never. An incredible trip meeting great people and tasting fantastic wines. The idea was to meet and learn. Cobie and Bjorn came up with the idea that we do a comparative tasting with some local SA producers and things snowballed from there. The comparative tasting was done with the following wines and producers: The Wines (Order of Tasting): Villiera Rhine Riesling 2007 (with Jeff Grier) Paul Cluver Weisser Riesling 2009 (with Andries Burger) Sandihurst Canterbury Riesling 2006 (yours truly) Then: Antonij Rupert Terra Del Capo Pinot Grigio 2009 (with Neil Patterson) De Grendel Pinot Gris 2009 (with Charles Hopkins) Sandihurst Waipara Pinot Gris 2008 (yours truly) Then: Paul Cluver Pinot Noir 2008 (with Andries Burger) Sandihurst Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007 (yours truly) De Grendel 'Op die Berg' Pinot Noir 2006 (with Charles Hopkins) But first, a quick rundown on the visit in total. From the moment I landed in Cape Town, it was helter skelter from one meeting to the next. Bjorn and Cobie have arranged a mega full programme and with Rykie chipping in to take me to visit the various wineries and appointments, there was no rest for the wicked. But who needs rest...? I saw, listened, learned and thoroughly enjoyed talking to truly fantastic winemakers who all gave generously of their time to talk to this “boerseun foreigner “ from NZ. I can go into depth here but suffice to say that I really appreciate the time each one of them gave to me. Every one of them with personalities as intriguing and interesting as the wines they produce. I attended wine club tastings organised by Bjorn & Cobie and met some more interesting people. And then it was the evening of the big tasting with all of the above wines and winemakers and guests at “The Only One Restaurant”. I was rather nervous I have to admit but there was no need. It was a great evening, great company, great food and of course, great wines. I won’t go into the wines themselves in this posting otherwise it will read like a novel. What I will do is to write individually about each wine we tasted on the night to keep it short and sweet. I do have an ulterior motive though. You see, I have to refresh my memory so I’ve brought back with me a couple of bottles of each wine... Celia, Kirk and I will tackle them one by one and for the sake of our oh so difficult jobs, we will just have to taste them again in order to be able to report back. Watch this space...