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Tuesday 2 September 2014

If that's interesting, how about these?

Top 10 vineyard investments

19th April, 2012 by db_staff

9. Swartland (South Africa)

Swartland winery

Swartland winery

Swartland’s growth from five wineries 10 years ago to almost 30 in 2011 smacks of a region that’s booming. Winemakers, working with Chenin Blanc and Rhône varieties, off the beaten path in Swartland are beginning to make a name for themselves.

Showcasing intense fruit, freshness, concentration, and elegant textures Swartland wines consistently reach new heights.

The most intriguing thing about Swartland is that it has the highest number of old vineyards per capita in South Africa and can produce incredibly high-quality fruit.

There’s been notable success with grapes associated with France’s Rhône Valley. But there’s also some fine Chenin Blanc around, on its own and in blends such as Mullineux White Blend 2009 and Lammershoek Roulette Blanc 2009.

Su Birch, CEO for Wines of South Africa, is equally enthusiastic about the Swartland. “New wine investment usually comes to Stellenbosch with restaurants and wineries. This is the opposite: younger people, not big capital, bringing back to life old vineyards and varieties which are either new or not usually treated with respect.”

A major reason why Swartland is an up and coming vineyard investment opportunity is that the Southern Hemisphere provides an unobstructed seasonal opportunity to work in Northern Hemisphere winemaking regions with non-conflicting growing calendars.

5 Responses to “Top 10 vineyard investments”

  1. Bisso Atanassov says:

    >> 4,000-liter quevris, or large clay vessels, that are buried in the ground. Quevris are cost-efficient, if not very scientific and it produces good concentrated red wine.

    First of all, quevris are of different size, not obligatory 4000 l. I’m not sure what’s the cost-efficiency of the quevris (they are cheaper than oak for sure) but from scientific point of view they are a vessel with high oxydizing potential (clay is porous and the quevris are not coated from the inside as a rule) so the wine inside tends to oxydize fast and die even faster (given that no topping-up is previewed by the “cost-efficient” system – see picture). Some of the wine is kept with the stems for a longer time than you can imagine. Not a single Georgian winemaker could answer my question how on earth they clean to sterility a porous uncoated vessel that is buried in the ground. As the answer is – there’s no way. So at the end you get a very … ahmm … specific wine, biologically unstable (in the better case, in the worse – contaminated by mould, fungi and other unknown bacteria) and oxydized, that tends to “dismantle” very fast. But, of course, it’s “natural”, “cost-efficient” and with the so called “gout de terroir”. In general the contemporary consumer refuses to drink such wines (I mean the taste as a whole) and that’s why Georgia can’t sell abroad even half of what they were selling to Russia (as Russians drink everything that burns, i.e. contains alcohol, and don’t care).

    There are some interesting new wines though, but none the less they are a niche product, only for connoisseurs. Not sure if this is enough to put Georgia among the Top-10 emerging wine regions.

  2. Dom says:

    I have tried quite a bit of Georgian wine and have only had bad experiences with wine from quevris. The ones I have tried have had very odd aromas, the wines have been very vegetal and poo-ey, not in a Burgundian farmyardy way, but very unpleasant. Maybe I have just been unluck so far.

  3. Don says:

    Huge ommission – Argentina has to be included. Terroir very accessible and available in Mendoza region. Weather dependable and most vineyards are at elevaton in Andes foothills imparting extraordinary qualities. Malbec is taking over the red wine world with Cab close second. Costs, compared to many locations, are very low with lots of room to grow.

  4. Zakkie Bester says:

    I follow the following simple filosophy : Life is to short to drink bad wines.
    Why bother to drink this awfull wines?

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