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Pure, Selected, Simplicity: South Africa’s Wine of Tomorrow

Olivedale – Wines South Africa

It is not easy to create outstanding quality in a world full of brands. Uncovering the purity needs additional activity that allows selection. In this regard, serving taste needs artists which provide their ideas about the productsSo, coming to South Africa in the mother of tastes of the new world and to write about gentlemen’s behaviour requires some thoughts. Why cover a wine venture which intends to reach for the stars? A winery that likes to be discovered like a Lady? 

Indeed, South African wineries form part of the new world’s best out in the top of the world. Whereas Pomerol, St. Emilion, Pauillac and so forth seems to be established and sold to everywhere; sun, stone, and quality in Argentine, Australia, California, and South Africa hammer down establishment. Having said this, do we really believe that boutique wineries can exist alongside extreme wine farming? Here, it all focuses to the maître sur place. A creepy soul creates a creepy taste or the other way around. His or her elixir you consume or detest. A piece of soul. A capturing of a momentum of nature transferred into a bottle. It requires an insane person, an autist, an artist, a conductor of nature. This is what Olivedale wine cellars found with Carl van Wyk. 

Text & editor rights: Dima Euler

South African Wines – Purity of the product

I met him during my work in South Africa. In the middle of the grapes, in an eremite like cottage, he invited me for dinner. A highly intelligent man graduated in different fields, prepared a steak and salad between handmade furniture, accompanied by the finest tones of Johann Strauss. His background is a pilgrimage determined by the pursuit of finding the thrill in purity. Refusing monetary success in exchange for having the liberty to create. Ever seeking the simplicity of quality, exceptional taste, and honesty. So he aims his wines. “You shall never not to finish something you start”, so, think carefully of what you are doing. Not as obvious as it connotes, it seems like producing wine requires a lot of suffering. Herein lies the journey which mirrors the bouquet. Jt is Olivedale Chardonnay, Semilion/Verdelho/Chardonnay, Rose, Shiraz/Mouvedere/Grenache, Tempranillo, Sterk Jan Droe Wit, and Queen of Africa Edel Laat Oes. 

Verdelho, a white wine grape grown throughout Portugal and most associated with Madeira wine. 
Chardonnay, very neutral grape, with many of the flavours commonly associated with the grape being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. Pressed whole bunch and naturally fermented in oak barrels, this wine shows elegancy and flavours of tropical fruits. 
Semilion, golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines. 
Shiraz/Mouvedere/Grenache or GSM is commonly used for a red wine consisting of a blend of Grenache, Shiraz (Syrah), and Mourvèdre. It originated from those used in some Southern Rhône wines. Grenache is the lightest and produces a pale red juice with soft berry scents and a bit of spiciness. Shiraz provides the full body. Mourvèdre for the structure, style, and acidity. The red fruit and dried prune flavours is the result of the 3 clones of shiraz that was used to sculpture this blend into a smooth red wine. 
Tempranillo, a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines.  The terroir and climate of Olivedale brings the best out of this relitave native cultivar. This serious wine has a natuarally higher tanin, but finned to perfection in french oak barrels. 
Sterk Jan Droe Wit, and Queen of Africa Edel Laat Oes are Semilion driven sweet desert style wines, harvested out of the deep red soil of Darling’s hills and sculptured in Swellendam. This exceptional natural fermented wine was matured in oak barrels and bottled 292 days later

 

Selected market 

Olivedale has about 100 000 plants. The winery produces about 75 000 bottles in 2017 whereas in 2016 only 50 000 were produced. Organic certification seems not to be an issue. He disclosed that he established one of the first organic wineries in South Africa but rejects labels today. He farms in accordance with nature and not a policeman. He believes that markets like Switzerland, Singapore, and Hong Kong will understand his product. Carl hereby relies on the education of the consumer who discovers the good product. It will not require any marketing but good taste and honesty to uncover the best. He admits that this view may be the reflection of a romantic fool but the only way to get the maximum outcome of a product without the reflection of the others. “The market will find our product.” 

Adaptability was the keyword – South African winemakers produced the best product from a challenging 2016 crop by means of good decision-making and state-of-the-art technology. The grapes ripened at lower sugar levels in general, which is positive with regards to wines with lower alcohol. The acidity levels were low, which necessitated adaptations in the cellar itself. The smaller berries that were produced will lead to good colour and intense flavour in this year’s red wines. The white wines also appear surprisingly good, with great structure and good flavours. 

Simplicity of the taste 

While opening a very well decorated wine, he told me about the problems of medals. Medals are a reflection of history which is drafted by the victors. Awards honour a good wine but no awards have no meaning at all. It depends from the availability of the laurates. In his view, today’s consumers have the luxury to scale down to the essence of taste. In a lifestyle driven economy, what counts is getting rid of unnecessary dependencies. Real luxury lies in avoiding what seems to be available. A life without financial constraints. A taste independent from money.  

Table: Biggest Producer World Wide according to International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) 

Rank  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 (provisional) 2015 (forecast) 
Italy 48 525 42 772 45 616 54 029 44 229 48 869 
France 44 381 50 757 41 548 42 134 46 804 47 373 
Spain 35 353 33 397 31 123 45 308 38211 36 600 
United States 20 887 19140 21 650 23 590 22 020 22 140 
Argentina 16 250 15473 11 778 14 984 15197 13 358 
Chile 8844 10464 12 554 12 820 10 500 12 870 
Australia 11420 11 180 12 259 12 310 12 020 12 000 
South Africa 9 327 9 725 10 569 10 982 11 316 11 310 
China 13 000 13200 13511 11 780 11 178 11 178 
10 Germany 6 906 9 132 9 012 8409 9 202 8 788 
11 Portugal 7148 5 622 6327 6 231 6195 6 703 
12 Russia 7 640 6980 6 220 5290 4 880 4880 
13 Romania 3 287 4 058 3 311 5113 3 750 4069 
14 Hungary 1 762 2 750 1 818 2 618 2 555 2 873 
15 Brazil 2 459 3460 2 967 2 710 2 732 2732 
16 Greece 2 950 2 750 3115 3343 2 900 2 650 
17 Austria 1 737 2 814 2 125 2 392 1 999 2 350 
18 New Zealand 1 900 2350 1 940 2484 3204 2350 
19 Serbia 2 382 2 244 2175 2 306 2332 2332 
20 Bulgaria 1 224 1 237 1 442 1 755 747 1 538 
21 Moldova 840 1 520 1470 2 570 1 630 1 630 
22 Georgia 1 034 1 108 830 997 1 134 1 134 

unit in 1000 hl / Source: http://www.oiv.int/public/medias/2256/en-communique-de-presse-octobre-2015.pdf

The cellar can be reached under the address Olivedale, Swellendam, 6740, South Africa and +27 28 512 3728. The wines are to be expected by the end of the year. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/olivedalevineyards.

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