Reinventing South African Winemaking: 2017 Whistler Cornucopia Recap

Diana Chan November 15, 2017 Event, Whistler

The winemaking culture of South Africa is in the middle of a perfect storm and as been making wine for 350+ years since 1659.

The country has a venerable tradition of old vines and established wineries, but a wave of young and forward-thinking winemakers is transforming the industry with fresh ideas about sustainability, as well as a newfound awareness of regional strengths.  The are classified as a new world wine producers. It’s a perfect region that reflects the best of the old and new world.

Daenna Van Mulligen led this seminar with a virtual tour of South Africa’s changing wine landscape.

We were able to taste 10 different reds, whites, and sparklers from across South Africa.

  • Graham Beck Brut Rosé
  • Protea Chenin Blanc
  • Boutinot Tea Leaf Chenin Blanc
  • Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay
  • DMZ Chardonnay
  • B Vintner’s Pinot Noir
  • Stella Organics Cabernet Sauvignon Pinotage  Reserve
  • Boutinot Sun & Air Cinsault
  • Porcupine Ridge Syrah
  • Anthonij Rupert Optima

Of the bunch, our favourites are highlighted below:

Boutinot Tea Leaf Chenin Blanc

This has a complex sandy stone fruit nose with notes of crushed granite, slightly saline and Rooibos.

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay

You can taste pale lemon, intense aromas of ripe stone fruit, apple, peach, citrus and spice. The palate is extra-dry and full body. Well-balanced flavours with a creamy, buttery mouth feel and refreshing acidity with a long finish.

Stella Organics Cabernet Sauvignon Pinotage Reserve

This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 70% and Pinotage 30%. This has cigar box, vanilla and fruitcake on the nose.  Dark cherries and ripe prune and cherry tobacco on the palate. Well integrated wood with a juicy finish.

Anthonij Rupert Optima

Beautiful seductive interplay of spice and red and black berry fruits on both the nose and palate. The mouth is succulent and packed with black cherry, blueberry and plum. Adding to its complexity is a notable violet hint and inky depth. Complex, layered, rich and powerful without being chunky or aggressive.

Final Thoughts

It was good to come to this seminar since it was good to get a taste of South Africa through their wine. Since I’m so used to BC wines, it was refreshing to see how wines are different around the world.


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About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.