Red or white? We talk about where to drink wine in South Africa.Immerse yourself in this exciting journey with us.
It’s been a busy week in the South African wine industry. Harvest has started, the ban on domestic alcohol sales was lifted and the industry celebrated its 362nd birthday on 2 February! More than enough reasons to pour a glass of South Africa’s finest wines.
What it is
European wine producing countries have different origin control systems that have been in place for centuries. These systems are very important as the area of origin of the grapes has a major role to play in the final wine that is produced. The same approach was adopted (although with less stringent rules on allowed varietals, winemaking techniques, etc.) in South African in 1973.
Whenever you see the term ‘Wine of Origin’ or the abbreviation ‘W.O’ along with the name of a production area (e.g. Western Cape, Stellenbosch, Bottelary) you can be guaranteed that 100% of the grapes from which the wine is made, comes from that specific area.
Aasvoël (which you can cautiously pronounce as ‘Arse-fool’ with a silent ‘r’) is quite simply a vulture. It is by no means an elegant or beautiful bird, but a very important one nonetheless.
This tasting is the closest that I have come to a blind tasting in a couple of years — no indication of what is in the bottle except that it is in fact a single cultivar wine — and for a moment there the wine had me stumped.