Good News: South Africa wine exports go-ahead during lockdown

The South African wine industry has been given authorization to export wines during the country’s current lockdown.

Following intense lobbying of the South Africa government by an Industry Exporters Task Team, the Minister of Transport stated in a release yesterday, April 7: “During the lockdown period, the transportation of the wines and any other fresh produce products at the seaports and international Airports Designated as Port of Entry for export is allowed.”

“Agricultural Cargo is allowed to be transported to seaports and International Airports Designated as Ports of Entry and exported to the relevant destination.”

The move is important for South Africa’s wine producers and fruit farmers as much of their produce is exported, and 50% of all wine produced is exported.

Rico Basson of Vinpro, which represents 3,500 members of the South African wine industry, tweeted, “We are very grateful for the dispensation to allow the exports of South African Wine”.

A statement from The Exporters Task Team also praised the decision: “Government and all the respective role-players [have shown] an understanding for the industry’s challenges through this concession, as nearly half of South Africa’s wine production is exported and a restriction on exports would have a severe effect on wine-related businesses, but most importantly the livelihood of close to 300,000 people employed by the wine industry value-chain.”

The Task Team emphasized that it recognized “the severity” of the Covid-19 pandemic, asking all businesses and people to “strictly adhere to the regulations” set out by government to ensure the safety of all employees during the lockdown.

Describing the development as “very good news for the industry”, Wines of South Africa‘s (WoSA) UK market manager Jo Wehring clarified that, “this exemption only relates to finished product that is ready for shipping in either bulk or packaged format”, adding it is “a massive step in the right direction and will bring much relief”.

WoSA recently announced that the 2020 vintage would deliver ‘exceptional wines’, after a last minute concession from government allowed harvesting to take place.

Italy is named the world’s best wine country

Italy has been ranked as the best country in the world for wine lovers in a recent survey by Lastminute.com.

The survey compared thirty wine-producing countries by various criteria with Italy finishing with the highest score. It beat out other counties due to the fact that it offers the most wine tasting experiences; with 993 overall to choose from, and Italy has a total of 21 wine regions.

But how did Italy top France?

In three instances:

1. The number of wine tasting experiences – Italy 993 vs. France 406;
2. Italy has more vineyards open to the public – Italy 33 vs. France 31; and
3. The average price of a bottle of wine is less in Italy – €4.77 vs. €5.73 in France.

For the record, France came second, Spain third, South Africa fourth, Portugal fifth, while Australia came in 15th place, Canada 24th, and the US at 27th. The UK, which is fast making a name for itself for the quality of its sparkling wines, came in 30th place on the list.

https://www.lastminute.com/en/discover/wine-lovers-travel-index

Wine Review: Fleur Du Cap 2016 Bergkelder Selection Chardonnay

Varietal: Chardonnay (100%)
Region: Western Cape, South Africa
Producer: Bergkelder Ltd.
Alcohol: 13.6%

This lush offering is medium-bodied, brilliantly clear with light straw hues; boasts fresh citrus notes on the nose followed by hints of tropical fruit, revealing hints of oak and spice, which unveils right through on the taste; a beautiful balance between sweetness and acidity that leads to long lingering finish.

Suggested Food Pairing
This wine works wonders with seafood especially shellfish, mussels and oysters. It is also a good choice for creamy curies, rich chicken dishes and medium cheeses. Serve chilled, but not ice cold.

liz-palmer.com – June 13, 2017
Rating: 90 points

Notes:
Fleur du Cap has been ranked amongst the world’s finest Chardonnays as one of only two South African wines to receive a gold medal at the 2015 Chardonnay du Monde competition in Burgundy, France.

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Fleur du Cap Wine and Artisanal Salt Pairing – A Unique Experience

FdC-CabernetSauv-Beef South Africa’s critically acclaimed-chef Craig Cormack has teamed up with Fleur du Cap winery to create specially designed dishes, which are seasoned with unique salts and perfectly paired with award-winning unfiltered Fleur du Cap wines.

Just as there are regions for wine growing, there are also regions for salt. Craig has sourced out black lava salt from the volcanic rock pools of Hawaii, the sea and desert of South Africa’s arid West Coast, Khoisan and Oryx Desert salt, pink Murray River Salt from Australia, and rare Persian Blue Salt from rock crystals.

Craig explains the process: “One of the challenges when pairing salt and wine is to create food that will enhance the wine without dominating it. The natural process of crafting Fleur du Cap wines by allowing the style inherent in the grapes to guide the winemaking team, works particularly well with unrefined, artisanal salts, reverting back to nature in both the food and the wines.”

Some of Craig’s pairings include: Merlot paired with Beef Carpaccio paired with Kala Namak Salt; Chenin Blanc paired with Pizzadeliere paired with Caviar Salt; Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Salted Beef paired with Oryx Salt; Pinotage paired with Salted Peanut, Chocolate and Banana Mouse paired with Peruvian Salt, amongst others. Each dish has a unique salt profile which, when paired with Fleur du Cap wine, brings out the complex flavours of these varietals.

Situated in the hart of Stellenbosch wine country, Fleur du Cap vineyards reflect the rich biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom. One of only six such plant kingdoms in the world – home to over 9,600 plant species.

“Our wines are crafted with nature in mind based on our winemaking philosophy of Regional Excellence”

My favorite pairing
Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Salted Beef paired with Oryx Salt

Oryx Salt
South Africa; natural white unprocessed and sundried; trace minerals

Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Tasting Notes

Complex flavours of blackcurrant, blueberry with hints of violets and mocha; integrated oaking adds firm tannins, which give a long finish.

Blend
100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Food Suggestions
This complex wine is the ideal accompaniment to fillet of beef and roast lamb but goes equally well with rich, robust dishes and strong cheeses.