Wine Talk

Snooth User: Tariro

South African Wines:

Original post 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!


Reply by wineluv, Apr 1, 2009.

South African wines! I tried a "Steen" from Coastal Region before, but I'm very new to SA wines. I'm very much interested in trying wine #3 (50% chenin/50% colombard) among others you listed above. Welcome to Snooth! I'm fairly new too, can't wait to hear more from you about SA wines!!

Reply by Tariro, Apr 3, 2009.

Hello everyone!!! It feels great to be back on Snooth. Man have I been soo busy with tastings after tastings. I had to make the first white blend of the year, guess for which market? America!! Yes America all for you.

The first blend of the year every year for the past 3 years is a Nederburg Foundation Lyric, and that's shipped to the States. So big-up guys over there!

Reply by Tariro, Apr 3, 2009.

I know it's a couple of questions I received in the few days I have been away and I'll answer all of them.

You had a question about giving proceeds to the elephants, which I probably sounded rude saying we don't even make enough for humans. It's a custom in African tradition that when you brew beer (or wine in this case) you have to pour some to the ground before you take a sip to appease the ancestors. Now ancestors are often represented by an animal, which can be an elephant, lion or even fish (called a totem), which led me to thinking you were making a joke about that but we hardly do that anymore.

I hope I didn't offend you to say the least. We are however invloved in a number of conservation initiatives directly or through our agents around the world. In South Africa we are very much active in securing funds for mothers with HIV and Hospice groups.

Reply by Tariro, Apr 3, 2009.

Hi mate - sounds Austrilian,doesn't it?! I have respect for Austrilian winemakers by the way.

Steen is another name for Chenin blanc in South Africa, for those who didn't know. Costal region by far is the best area for growing grapes and it refers to all the areas/districts close to the sea.

Stellenbosch is definitely a prime area fro mostly reds ( Cab sauv, Merlot and Pinotage).

I love warwick wines! This family run winery is doing something right, let me tell you that.

My favourite wines from their stable include:

1. Trilogy (Bodeaux blend)
2. The First lady (Cab/ merlot)
3. Three Cape Ladies ( Cape blend)

Other vry good Stellenbosch wineries include:

Ernie Els

Reply by Tariro, Apr 3, 2009.


I would be happy to send you a bottle of the Chenin/Colombar blend. It's very refreshing!

Reply by Tariro, Apr 3, 2009.

Overview of the South African wine industry:

World's 9th largest wine producer, +-840million litres, 3% of global production.

481 private cellars, 59 co-operatives, 20 producing wholesalers.

Chenin blanc is most planted variety.

Per-capita consumption is 7.43L compare with France which is over 50L!

Reply by John Andrews, Apr 3, 2009.

@Tariro ... thanks for following up on all the questions. Since your such a great ambassador of South African wine, maybe you should look into being the curator of the South Africa Wine page here on Snooth. I'm sure that Philip or Greg will hit you up for that! I'm the curator of the Sonoma and Sonoma Valley pages.

Reply by shot2pieces, Apr 4, 2009.

Hi Tariro & welcome :) How about Ayama wineries? Had the pleasure to try their chenin 2006, surprisingly nice.

Sad news regarding Nederburg and Poland - apparently most of the stock will disappear, as Distell chose a new local distributor who will cancel Obikwa and Nederburg...

Reply by Tariro, Apr 18, 2009.

I had the most hectic 2 weeks of the year so far putting together blend after blend for vintage 2009.

I am excited about the wines I'll be putting out there this year. I can't wait for you guys to taste them.

Reply by Tariro, Apr 18, 2009.

As always I just want to go back to a few questions posted previoulsy and get you guys up to speed.

Shot2pieces: You enquired about Ayama winery.
It's a relatively mid-size winery (in South African terms) establised 2004 and Chenin blanc is definitely one of the wines they do better. They also make Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc (whites) and Cab sauv, Merlot, Pinotage, Shiraz and a Shiraz-Pinotage blend (reds).

About Distell choosing a new local distributor in Poland you are right! As for Nederburg in Poland, you needn’t have any fears. A change of distributor always lead to some disruption and disquiet in the market. However, we are very much back in business as we have been very fortunate to secure the backing of a very strong alley, KPW - a brand new company set up by Kompania Piwowarska (SAB Miller) and run by the very excellent Piotr. KP SAB Miller is the biggest drinks distributor in Poland giving us unrivalled access to the entire market.

Of course, it is always sad to say goodbye to long-established partners - PPS Polmos had worked with our brands for a decade or more - and Piotr tried very hard to get a deal with PPS Polmos to keep them involved - sadly without luck. Despite this, I must admit that I am extremely excited about our future in Poland and the work Piotr is doing.

Feel free to drop me mail if you have any further questions.


Reply by Tariro, Apr 18, 2009.

Thanks HondaJohn about the ambassador comment

There are thousands of different wines across the world, each wine with a unique story and soul and I can't think of a better way to share some of that than this.

Reply by Tariro, Apr 18, 2009.

Back to my blending...........

With all the Sauvignon blanc in the cellar finished fermenting I put on my apron and got to some serious "fun." And you probably thought only Chefs look cool in aprons.

With a great vintage almost behind us ( I still have grapes for Noble to come heh!) my task was to create Nederburg Sauv blancs for for 2009.

I created the following amazing line up:

1. Nederburg Private Bin D234 Sauv blanc 2009 (Auction wine)
Grape from a vineyard in Darling characterised by strong pyrizine and herbaceuos notes.

2. Nederburg Private Bin D215 Sauv blanc 2009 (Auction wine)
Grapes from a vineyard in Durbanville, characterised by strong tropical fruit (passion fruit and granadilla).

3. Nederburg Manor House Sauvignon blanc 2009. (available in retail shops).
Selection of specific vineyards from Darling, Durbanville and Stellenbosch giving greater complexity and makes an excellent fine dining Sauvignon blanc.

4. Nederburg FIFA 2010 Sauvignon blanc 2009.
If I hadn't said it now you know. Nederburg wines is the official wine supplier for the 2010 soccer World Cup.... more about that later.

5. Nederburg Winemaster Reserve Sauvignon blanc 2009.
Cool climate vineyards from coastal areas. By far the most verastile in the line up in that it can be used for fine dining or everyday drinking. Very expressive Sauvignon blanc characters.

6. Nederburg Foundation Sauvignon blanc 2009
A style best suited for picnics and everyday drinking. An excellent wine in that it focuses more on fruit expression than on palate weight making it a pefrect companion for lighter meals.

Reply by Tariro, Apr 18, 2009. the way it was my birthday 4 April and I went for dinner with friends to Gordon Ramsey's restaurant, Maze, which opened the night before.

What an experinece we had.. the wine list outshines any I have seen before in this country. As for the price of wine - imported wines were beyond my reach.

I had pleasure in drinking The Graham Back Brut NV and The Brampton Shiraz 2006.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Apr 20, 2009.

Happy belated birthday!

The line-up of Sauv blancs sounds incredible!

I wish I could be with you trying them as you perfect each bottling.

Reply by fibo86, Apr 20, 2009.

Hey Tariro, didn't think you were rude. Plus you answered my question. I really like your tradition as I'm part Maori, I definitely understand the totem and ritual.
Happy birthday Tariro (belated).
Wow, not only a line up of the Chenin now the Sauvignon Wish we got more of your wines here.

Reply by Tariro, Jun 17, 2009.

Man, do I feel like a stranger here! It has been ages and NO it's not funny! I missed every bit about sharing wine staff with you guys and gals improving my english skills (hopefully?) in the process.

Reply by Tariro, Jun 17, 2009.

So what's new? I stopped counting which new vintage wines I released lately but be assured they are good, very good.

My favourite - Nederburg Manor House Sauvignon blanc 2009
Nederburg ingenuity white 2008

And if you haven't heard here is some very exciting staff:

We won most successfull producer in SAfrica at Old Mutual Trophy Show 2009, a repeat of 2008.

We also won Syrah du Monde 2009 competition with Nederburg Private Bin R121 Shiraz 2006.

Great staff heh?!!!!!

Reply by Tariro, Jun 17, 2009.

Before I forget I will be heading to Canada for a series of wine tastings with the trade and consumers etc.

Very much looking forward to that.

I forgot to mention SOCCER, did I? Yes, sorry. The CONFED cup is happening. We (SAfrica) lost the opening match against Iraq! Sharks!!@@ Nothing against Iraq though.

Spain is looking great, must say!

Reply by Philip James, Jun 17, 2009.

Where in Canada are you going to be?

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 17, 2009.

Congrats on the awards. I really would love to taste your wines. Who is your US importer these days?

Parts of Canada are very close to New York, if you have any free time....

Continue to the end of the thread to reply
Back to Categories

Popular Topics

  • posts

Top Contributors This Month

1498622 Snooth User: Really Big Al
1498622Really Big Al
65 posts
125836 Snooth User: dmcker
33 posts
847804 Snooth User: EMark
28 posts


View All

Snooth Media Network