THE inaugural vintage of a milestone Sauvignon blanc wine has been released by the 13 wineries of the Durbanville Wine Valley that supplied the wine for its making. While collaborations of this scale are rare, it is the region’s reputation for pioneering and award-winning Sauvignon Blanc that makes this an outstanding contribution to the pantheon of South African wine.
The cool, two oceans-influenced climate of the Durbanville Wine Valley is ideal for the slow and flavourful development of wine grapes, particularly Sauvignon Blanc. It is for this reason that Durbanville is one of oldest and most favoured wine regions at the Cape, consistently taking top international honours for Sauvignon Blanc in particular.
Most recently, a Diemersdal expression received the trophy as overall winner in its category at the 2022 Concours Mondial du Sauvignon while Sauvignon Blanc from Durbanville Hills was among the few Gold winners at the UK-based Global Masters wine competition. Both wineries were contributors to the collaboration wine, simply named Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc, along with Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, Canto, D’Aria, De Grendel, Groot Phesantekraal, Klein Roosboom, Maastricht, Meerendal, Nitida and Signal Gun. Its final production was entrusted to veteran winemaker Charles Hopkins, and Morgan Steyn of De Grendel.
The launch of the 2022 Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc took place last week, and it follows on the heels of the region’s collaboration last year in the making of the now sold-out Master’s Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Commenting on the latest addition, Hopkins called it a “truly remarkable wine for the support and genuine enthusiasm that fruit was contributed by wineries of the valley”.
“From the start, everyone grasped the significance of showcasing the quality and image of Durbanville Sauvignon blanc,” he said.
Contributing to the project were leading industry service providers Inbox Packaging, RAM Labels and the company that realised its standout appearance – Bravo Design. The label highlights the many facets of Durbanville, with the vineyards and wine grapes as centrepiece alongside proteas – South Africa’s national flower as well as an indicator of nature-aligned viticulture.
The region’s Dutch heritage is reflected in images of the historic Dutch Reformed Church, 1840 Onze Molen windmill and Cape Dutch homestead, as well as the Delft-blue rendering. Its proximity and link with the Cape are depicted through the view of Table Mountain, but also cannons traditionally used to signal local farmers that trading ships had arrived at Table Bay.
The association with agriculture also emerges in the tractor, grape harvesting, and pumpkins with the latter also a reference to the region’s original name. Pampoenkraal (Pumpkin Kraal) hails from Afrikaans, which is further represented in the word oesjaar, meaning vintage.
Together, the elements speak of a rich heritage that has emerged from generational know-how and a history of sustainable farming. Together, they speak of a vibrant community eager and proud to show the wine contained within.
The flavour and aromatic character of Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc generally falls in two camps – briny and tropical fruit – and is determined by the inner and outer valley location of producers. Together, they have produced a sublime wine ambassador for the region and indeed, South Africa. The 2022 Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc shows typical character of a young, unwooded Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc that has preserved defining aromas and flavours.
It’s a dry wine with an alcohol of 13.5%. The colour is a light, lime-green while the wine itself shows outspoken ester flavours of apple, pear, cold tea, and jasmine and thiols of tropical citrus, granadilla and blackcurrant. The winemaker’s notes describe it as being particularly full on the palate and suggest the wine as a wonderful aperitif or accompaniment to seafood, salad, pasta, and even light meat dishes.
The inaugural 2022 Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc is available at the tasting rooms of the Durbanville Wine Valley and Tops @ Spar stores around Durbanville. It may also be purchased online. The wine sells for around R110/bottle.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Liesl Engelbrecht ©