SOUTH AFRICA CELEBRATES 365 YEARS OF WINEMAKING
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by Rose Murray Brown
4M ago
By Rose Murray Brown MW  Published in The Scotsman 30 March 2024 On 2 February 1659, the first wine made from grapes grown in South Africa was crafted by the Governor of the Cape, Jan van Riebeeck.  He had planted vines four years earlier in the Company’s Garden near Cape Town from cuttings imported from France. Van Riebeeck’s first Cape vintage only yielded 12 bottles, but it sowed seeds for the future – helped by more colonists arriving bringing knowledge of viticulture and winemaking.  His aim had been to make wine to help ward off scurvy for sailors stopping off along the s ..read more
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PIONEERING SIJNN WINE ESTATE CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by Rose Murray Brown
9M ago
One of South Africa’s remotest wine farms, Sijnn Estate (pronounced ‘seine’), has just celebrated its 20th anniversary.  To mark the occasion the winemaker Charla Bosman (nee Haasbroek) visited Edinburgh to host a memorable vertical tasting of wines back to Sijnn’s founding vintage. Slim petite youthful Bosman looks like an unusual custodian of such an isolated estate, which is one hour to the nearest town and three hours east of Stellenbosch.  But Bosman has flourished here in this wild raw terrain since she began in 2014.  Her wines are now critically acclaimed, last year she ..read more
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SUMMER RED WINES FOR CHILLING
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by Rose Murray Brown
1y ago
Lighter red wines can really benefit from a slight chilling to make them even more appetising on a warm summer’s evening.  The best grapes to choose to chill down are those with sweet fragrant aromas, soft light tannins and a refreshing twist of acidity such as Gamay, Pinot Noir, Frappato, Cabernet Franc, Zweigelt and Mencia – to name a few. Remember just a short 20 minutes in the fridge or 10 minutes in the ice bucket will be enough to get an even more refreshing juicy mouthfeel with your summer red.  What you want is to serve it at about 10-12 degrees to bring out its best. Here a ..read more
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UNDER £12 WINES
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by admin
1y ago
Everyone loves a bargain when times get tough – so I have been searching for wines under £12 across the world to serve this Easter – with some fantastic finds in unusual places such as Amyndeon in northern Greece and Costers del Segre in Spain. SPARKLING WINE Penedes, Spain: CONTEVEDO CAVA ROSADO NV  ***STAR VALUE*** £5.75 Aldi Remarkably fruity and intense for the price – this zippy fresh Catalonian blend made by the traditional method (as all Cava is) has delightful apple and raspberry aromas, crunchy red berried fruit palate, hints of honey and a fine mousse.  Shows what a bargain ..read more
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CELEBRATING WOMEN WINEMAKERS
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by admin
1y ago
By Rose Murray Brown MW   Published in The Scotsman 4 March 2023 My pick of a dozen top female winemakers from across the globe in South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, Germany, Sicily, Bulgaria and Hungary. South Africa: CHARLA BOSMAN – Sijnn Wines Talented winemaker Charla Bosman (pictured above) makes superb wines from low vigour bushvines on a remote farm near Malgas on the Breede river.  She has been key to Sijnn’s success, a vineyard and winery set up by pioneer David Trafford who discovered this isolated spot with its stony alluvi ..read more
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PET NAT – THE HIPPEST DRINK IN THE BAR
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by Rose Murray Brown
1y ago
With names like Piggy Pop, Cosmonat and Flower Girl and bright psychedelic funky labels, ‘Pet Nats’ might sound and look like frivolous fizzy drinks.  They are in fact very interesting deliciously fruity sparkling wines which are currently hugely popular around the world. The name Pet Nat means Petillant Naturel – hence the name given to these spritzy sparklers which are usually found topped with crown caps (aka beer caps) – which are much more effective than corks as closures for sparkling wines. Pet Nats might be the hippest and trendiest drinks in the bar right now, but they are actual ..read more
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URBAN WINERIES
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by Rose Murray Brown
1y ago
By Rose Murray Brown MW  Published in The Scotsman 9 July 2022 Our vision of a typical winery is usually surrounded by vineyards in a rolling countryside setting, but this is not always the case. Urban wineries based in the heart of big cities are now all the rage with no vineyards in sight.  Their owners can funnel resources into buying grapes from growers in neighbouring wine regions and making the best wines possible, close to the market they sell to – which offers the customer an opportunity to experience wine in an entirely new concept. For the wine tourist an urban winery offe ..read more
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FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT WINES
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by admin
1y ago
By Rose Murray Brown MW   Published in The Scotsman 11 March 2023 As Fairtrade Fortnight draws to a close, I look back at my pick of the top Fairtrade wines tasted over this promotional fortnight.  All wines below have the Fairtrade certification.  For every bottle of Fairtrade wine sold throughout the year, a small additional amount of the selling price – what they call ‘social premiums’ are paid back to their community foundation to fund local projects from aftercare centres, hygiene upgrades to local choirs. This global system helps disadvantaged small scale farmers and ..read more
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INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by Rose Murray Brown
1y ago
To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), I have selected wines made by a dozen talented women winemakers across the world: Tokaj, NE Hungary: VIVIEN UJVARI Hungarian-born Ujvari (pictured above), who has worked in New Zealand, Australia and California, is now making a superb range of wines for a small artisan producer, Barta Pince, who revived the famous Oreg Kiraly vineyard near Mad village.  Her introductory wine is an unoaked crisp mouthwateringly refreshing intense introduction to Hungary’s Furmint grape: Egy Kis 2020 Barta Pince (£14.95 Corney & Barrow). Kamptal, Aust ..read more
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TOP TEN ROSE VALENTINE FIZZ
Rose Murray Brown » South Africa
by admin
1y ago
By Rose Murray Brown MW    Published in The Scotsman 11 February 2023 My pick of my Top Ten rose sparkling wines on our shelves to serve up on Valentine’s Day next week: ROSE SPARKLING WINE Italy: PROSECCO ROSE 2020 £10 Marks & Spencer This scored highest amongst the supermarket own label Prosecco Rose we tasted – our tasters loved its subtle fragrance, silky soft palate, bright raspberry fruits and sleek elegant finish.  Like all pink Prosecco it is made from Glera and Pinot Noir – with a moderate 11% alcohol. Italy: LE COLTURE PROSECCO ROSE BRUT 2020 £13.95 Corney & Ba ..read more
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