|United Vintners, the South African Embassy along with the ITC Sheraton, New Delhi introduced “The 10 Chapters of South Africa – the Ultimate Wine Trail” to a select audience at a walk around tasting of their wines on 24 October. Explaining the concept of 10 Chapters, Stefan Gerber the visionary winemaker who is also a Sommelier India columnist, said, “It is the first time that a country has been explained in the form of wine.”Rahoul Singh reports.|
At 10 Chapters we are extremely proud of this novel concept and are very excited at the prospect of showcasing South Africa to the Indian market through our wines.” The story begins in the ‘rainbow’ land of South Africa and extends into “10 Chapters” – each chapter being a beautiful landscape and also a wine growing region in South Africa with its own unique terroir.
The wines will be released every three or four months reflecting the different regions. These are: (1) Capetown and its surroundings, (2) Swarthland and the West coast, (3) Along the Elephants River, (4) Heading North, (5) Through the Karoo, (6) Breede River Valley, (7) Tulbagh – The Secluded Valley, (8) Valley of the Paarl Rock, (9) Into the Overberg and (10) Stellenbosch.
The wines that are now available in India to illustrate the book include 4 white wines – 10 Chapters Sauvignon Blanc, Gervino Blanc, Montestell Chardonnay & Opstal Viognier; and three red wines – 10 Chapters Shiraz, Gervino Rouge & Montestell Pinotage. Available in India through United Vintners Ltd, these wines will be priced within a range of Rs. 800 to Rs. 1200 at all leading outlets.
I found Montestell’s Pinotage from the Paarl district particularly enjoyable. Pinotage, an indigenous grape, was created as recently as 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold. A professor in viticulture at the Stellenbosch University he crossed the varieties of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (Hermitage).
Initially intended as an experiment to create a local varietal that would embody the classic Pinot “taste” of Burgundy with some of the easy-to-grow and disease-resistant qualities of the Cinsault, Pinotage now finds its place among some of the world’s most discerning palates.
The 10 Chapters idea originated back in 2003 at the wine region of the Western Cape where a visionary group of final year Stellenbosch winemaking students led by the charismatic Stefan Gerber challenged the establishment. They developed 10 ‘chapters’ to represent 10 South African wine regions, emphasizing each region’s uniqueness in their wines.
Jonty Rhodes, one of South Africa and world cricket’s greatest living legends, embodies the spirit of South Africa whether he is on, or off the pitch. In his non cricketing persona as a director of 10 Chapters, Rhodes introduced the wines and fielded questions from the guests that night.
Talking about India, the amiable Jonty Rhodes said, “I am really excited to be back in India, albeit this time on a different pitch! After cricket, the world of wines has been a great passion for me, and I am happy to be here to share my current passion with a nation that so deeply shares my other passion – cricket.”