Wines of South Africa is holding a big tasting on May 11, its first in New York City. I am very excited and have become quite enthusiastic about South African wines thanks to an introduction to the wines last summer at the Society of Wine Educators conference in Sacramento. This past January, I was lucky enough to meet Ntsiki Biyela of Stellekaya, a fabulous young, female winemaker. Ntsiki and I are friends at this point so I think I won’t go on and on about her but I will post this great clip from CNN.
There are numerous events related to wineries in South Africa this week and one that I attended last night at Greenspaces was very special. It was organized by the International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW) where Ntsiki was the keynote speaker. All the proceeds from the event went to the development of a viticultural training center on the M’hudi Estate in Stellenbosch, one of a handful of black-owned estates.
M’hudi is owned by the Rangaka family, the only black family owned vineyard in South Africa. The farm is large with 42 hectares. M’hudi means harvester . They make a number of wines including a Sauvgnon Blanc and a Pinotage. I tried the Pinotage. It was lighter than many that I have tasted making it more approachable in my view. It had plum and cherry notes with spice that is typical of Pinotage.
I also tried the Pinotage from the Seven Sisters winery, literally owned by the seven Brutus sisters: Odelia, Carol, Yolanda, June, Dawn, Twena and Vivian. They make seven wines with each sister having one wine named after her. The sisters were separated for about 20 years only to come together to create this project. I tried the Pinotage which was blended with Shiraz. I liked it very much and found it soft and round on the nose and palate with typical spice associated with both of these varieties.
The wines were a surprise to me and very appealing. I look forward to tasting more of their products in the future. The wines are available in the United States through Heritage Link Brands.