Wine Talk

Snooth User: Tariro

South African Wines:

Posted by Tariro, Mar 27, 2009.

The future of wine lies in sharing information amongst winos around the world. I am not a good writer by a mile but I want to give you some insight into the South African wine industry.

Firstly this year, 2009, we'll be celebrating 350 years of making wine in this country - so much for "New world wines" as we're well known.

I am winemaker at Nederburg Winery (since 2005) in Paarl, near Cape Town. Our cellar crushes 21 000 tonnes of grapes every vintage and I am responsible for making white and rose wine, about 8 000 tonnes.

I am from Zimbabwe originally and I came to South Africa in 1999 to study winemakig and 10 years later I can truly say I have my dream job - enough said!

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Replies

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 27, 2009.

Welcome to Snooth Tariro!

I am a big fan of South African wines and am thrilled to have you here joining us.

Can I ask you how the vintage is going this year?

There will be lots of questions, I am sure.

I still have bottle of the 1978 Cabernet kicking around somewhere. Predating you by a bit. Have you had the chance to try it?

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 27, 2009.

Harvest day 43. It has been a very long harvest this year but there's a lot to celebrate about. maybe a little too early to say but am willing to put my head on the bloc and say 2009 has been one of the best vintages we've had in the Cape for a long time.

Some experts are already comparing the vintage to 1998.

Early season was characterised by good acids, low pH and lower sugars with good ripeness. The indication early on was for greater things to come.

We continued to have relatively cooler days with cooler nights - ideal for optimum ripeness. The red grapes were coming into the cellar with excellent colour and good fruit. The white grapes, especially Sauvignon blanc had beautiful aromas.

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 27, 2009.

Hi Greg

"78 is a Gem, made by Gunter Brozel! Good luck when you decide to open it some day.

The vintage has been very good. I am finished with most grapes and started with the Noble late harvest yesterday. Lots of botrytis I must say.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 27, 2009.

Tariro, have you been keeping a harvest journal? That first post looks a lot like a journal entry. If you do have such a thing I would love to read it and it would make a great blog post which I would be happy to post here on Snooth's blog.

Just an idea!

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 27, 2009.

An amateur one yes - it's one thing that kept me sane besides tasting the ferments.

Until now I have been writing the journal for my friends but am happy to share it.

I must say I am enjoying my time on Snooth - very informative and open.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 27, 2009.

I am very glad to hear that! We are trying to build some place where everyone can come, learn, and share their love for wine.

If you wouldn't mind you can email me the journal at Gregory@snooth.com and I would be happy to format it for our blog. I am working with a few producers here and in Italy hoping to have their vintage updates and harvest journals added to the Snooth blog as their seasons get going in earnest. Yours would be our inaugural edition!

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 27, 2009.

Sounds great! Thanks!

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 27, 2009.

Started to rain in Paarl and surrounding winelands - first autumn rain bringing much relief.

As for the grapes this is good news for botrytis. I have always wondered how many people drink sweet desert wine with their cheese cakes, pudding etc.

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 27, 2009.

Started to rain in Paarl and surrounding winelands - first autumn rain bringing much relief.

As for the grapes it's good news for botrytis.

I have always wonderedhow many people would drink sweet desert wine with their cheese cake, chocolate, pudding etc?

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Mar 27, 2009.

The more wines I taste from Paarl the more I am impressed. I really enjoy the character. That reminds me, I should go follow the Paarl group...

http://www.snooth.com/region/south-...

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Reply by Philip James, Mar 27, 2009.

Tariro - welcome to the site! Looking forward to hearing more about the region.

One of the team, Adam Levin, is a big South Africa fan and spent some time there last year.

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 28, 2009.

Hi Philip - I feel welcome thanks!

I believe we have some great wines and am looking forward to sharing more info with the members.

Cheers!

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 28, 2009.

Saturday today - I have decided to work on one of my favourite varieties grown in this area, Chenin blanc.

Chenin blanc is by far the most planted variety in the country and used to make different styles of table wines and even used as the base for a wide range of fortified wines and spirit.

At Nederburg winery I make 9 different wines with Chenin blanc as varietal or blended:

1. Nederburg Cuvee Brut - Sparkling wine with mostly Chenin

2. Nederburg Foundation Lyric: Blend (56% Sauv blanc, 23% Chenin, 21% chard) Unwooded and very refreshing easy drinking wine.

3. Nederburg Winemasters Grand Cru: 50% Chenin, 50% Colombar

4. Nederburg Winemasters Reserve Chenin blanc: 100% Chenin blanc.
Made from bush vines - 20% wooded in big vats, 80% tank fermented.

5. Nederburg Foundation Stein: 100% Chenin; semi sweet

6. Nederburg Special late harvest: Blend - mostly Chenin + Muscadel and Gewurtz.

7. Nederburg Winemasters Reserve Noble late harvest: Blend - mostly Chenin + Semillon, Riesling, Muscadel

8. Edelkeur: 100% Chenin: Sweet desert wine.

9. Ingenuity white: 10% Chenin blended with 7 other varieties. Best white wine out of Nederburg.

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Reply by fibo86, Mar 28, 2009.

Hey Tariro, welcome. I love your wines and have many requests for them in the shop I work at. I'm loving your rose at the moment as we're just leaving summer here in Australia, looking forward to seeking out some (if I can find it) of the 9 you just mentioned.

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 28, 2009.

Hi fibo86.

I say rose is the next white!

I am thrilled to know you're loving the wines. I drink that rose with my bacon and eggs in the morning, I love it. We just released a "drier" rose 2 months ago made from 100% Cab sauv, 2008 vintage. Something to look out for.

Well I gotta go back to my Chenin barrels, nice to hear from you.

Cheers!

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Reply by fibo86, Mar 28, 2009.

Are you still putting a percentage towards the elephants?
I'm seriously going to try to find your Chenin /anything as I have an interest in just how different they can be from country to country not just region by region.

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Reply by Tariro, Mar 30, 2009.

Elephants, ha ha ha, very funny! Tell you what, we hardly make enough for humans.

If you manage to taste one of these Chenins let me know what your impression is.

Cheers!

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 30, 2009.

Wow what a Chenin line-up. Wish I could try them. Looks like it's almost time to start planning a South African Snooth adventure!

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Reply by fibo86, Mar 30, 2009.

The reason I ask is that you had -(not too sure about now)- a label on the bottle which claimed that a percentage of your profits go to an elephant sanctuary but by the look of "not even enough for humans" I guess it was a marketing ploy. What a shame.
Oh oh and don't worry if I find a Chenin I'll let you know what I think.

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Reply by John Andrews, Mar 31, 2009.

@Greg ... the South African wine adventure sounds like a good idea. I got to spend a day in Stellenbosch and really enjoyed it. I wish I had more time though.

@Tariro ... other than your own winery, who would recommend trying. I'm partial to Warwick.

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