[Image credit: The Nederburg Winery Estate]
My Dad loves a glass of red wine every once in a while, and South African wines are a particular favourite as being so far from home it’s a small reminder of the region. However nostalgia aside, over the years South African wines, in general, have become an increasing presence on UK retail shelves, from supermarkets to dedicated wine shops. One of the more established brands is Nederburg, one of South Africa’s oldest and most awarded wineries, whose vintages have a growing international presence, holding their own in the highly competitive markets of Europe, US, Australia; and their homegrown success can partly be attributed to the fact that the brand appeals to both seasoned wine connoisseurs and the ordinary man and woman.
Located in the Paarl Valley just outside of Cape Town, on an estate that spreads over 49 hectares, Nederburg Winery has a long tradition of pioneering new techniques and practices within the local wine industry. The winery was established in 1791 by Phillipus Wolvaart, a German immigrant who cultivated the land to fruitful harvest within six years, and since then the Winery has changed ownership several times becoming increasingly successful under the guidance of master winemakers. Today a team of highly skilled and passionate winemakers led by Razvan Macici, Nederburg’s cellarmaster since 2001 is continuing Nederburg’s tradition for excellence. Born in Romania, Razvan grew up in a family of winemakers and under his leadership, the company’s award-winning reputation has accelerated. Working under Razvan’s direction are two senior winemakers; Tariro Masayiti, a Zimbabwean who joined in 2005 and specialises in creating the white wine vintages and creating the reds is Wilhelm Pienaar who joined in 2009 and has trained at some the industries leading establishments and schools including two years at SupAgro Montpellier in France.
The science of winemaking is known as ‘oenology’ and the fermentation process of turning the grapes into wine is known as ‘vinification’, and is an industry usually associated with exclusivity and prestige, however a new generation of winemakers like Tariro are helping to change the perceptions attracting new audiences in the process. A science graduate turned winemaker Tariro’s passion for winemaking started when he worked as a laboratory analyst for Mukuyu Winery, a Zimbabwean winery based in Marondera. Encouraged by Mukuyu’s then winemaker Tariro began his first steps into winemaking and soon made the decision to go back to university to qualify as a winemaker, with the dream of returning home to Zimbabwe to become winemaker at Mukuyu Winery. However the day before sitting his final exam a phone call led to a meeting that would change his destiny and upon graduating spent three years at Fleur du Cap as an assistant winemaker, before joining Nederburg where he has now been for six years is in charge of a portfolio of approximately 25 white wines. Sharing his love of the winemaking process, Tariro runs a blog with some interesting insights into what goes into creating a new vintage.
…and; if you do decide to enjoy a glass of Nederburg, please remember to drink responsibly