Tim James is founder of Grape.co.za and contributes to various local and international wine publications. He is a taster (and associate editor) for Platter’s. His book Wines of South Africa – Tradition and Revolution appeared in 2013.
He starts off the article with an “if” statement – if the Cabo das Tormentas had been settled by Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias or other Portuguese explorers, instead of Jan van Riebeek for the Dutch, then our vineyards today (and much else!) might look somewhat different.
Portugal has a marvellous treasure house of some 250 indigenous grape varieties, many of which would undoubtedly be suitable for the Cape.
Hi goes on to mention a wine that he had the chance to taste. Delightfully delicious, winningly unpretentious bottles of modest-alcohol red, Fledge & Co’s Souzão 2014.
In fact, the more I have of the local wines made from Portuguese grapes, the more impressed I am. Boplaas, for example, makes a few which I haven’t tasted, but I have had their maiden Touriga Nacional 2012 (sourced from Stellenbosch, Wellington and Calitzdorp), and it is first rate.
Viva Portuguese grapes! This is a category I intend to explore: it’s definitely among my new year resolutions – one that will give, I know, more pleasure than some others.
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