Tasting old vines wines from South Africa and Chile

On the 22nd of February 2021, Wines of South Africa hosted a unique online tasting for the Dutch Guild of Sommeliers. Collaborating with ProChile, we showcased a diverse selection of high-end wines made from old vine vineyards from both countries.

South Africa and Chile both realize that their old vineyards are key to the quality and originality of their wines and to the image of the country. This niche category attracts the attention and appreciation of wine buyers to the overall quality that both countries produce at a premium level.

The importance of old vine wines for both countries were highlighted as key examples of cultural heritage, natural beauty, examples of sustainability, high quality and authentic wines. The Old Vine Project (OVP) in South Africa has grown from 70 members in 2020 to 100 in March 2021, giving the project recognition amongst some key premium producers. The South African OVP Certified Heritage Vineyards Seal is unique in the world, resonating with consumers, as a guarantee of authenticity, quality and traceability.

Through a flight of 6 wines including Sémillon, Cinsaut, Chenin Blanc and Carignan sommeliers could get an impression of the old vine quality and philosophy of both countries. Producers included: David & Nadia Sadie, Boekenhoutskloof, Leeu Passant, Pedro Parra, J. Bouchon and De Martino.

The wines tasted were:

Boekenhoutskloof Sémillon

J. Bouchon, Granito Sémillon

Leeu Passant, Basson Cinsault

Pedro Parra y Familia, Hub Cinsault

David & Nadia, Plat’bos Chenin Blanc

De Martino, VIGNO Carignan

Lars Daniëls (Perswijn Magazine, curator and host of the presentation and tasting) had this to say about the tasting:

“It’s fascinating to witness South Africa and Chile, both successful ’new world’ wine producing countries in their own way, rediscovering their old vineyards. And in fact, revaluing part of their cultural heritage, that is greater than many wine lovers realize. These vineyards, often somewhat off the beaten track and cared for by good farmers, produce a disproportionate share of both countries’ best and most interesting wines. And it’s clear these wines are made by very passionate people, with great vision and know-how. It was such an honour and a unique opportunity to have six of them together in this webinar, to talk old vines and their superb wines.”

It was a special experience to have 6 winemakers from Chile and South Africa online, sharing their expertise and love of old vines to an audience on a different continent. Around 70 sommeliers joined us online and the feedback was extremely positive with some great posts on social media.

A big thank you goes out to André Morgenthal of the Old Vine Project, Lars Daniëls and the producers and importers who made these special wines available for tasting. And of course, to the winemakers, who took time off during the busy harvest to participate! Here’s hoping for another – live - tasting with everyone on the same continent in the not-too-distant future!