Nederburg, one of South Africa’s most widely celebrated and internationally-acclaimed wines, are writing their very own wooded diaries.
The notion of oaking or wooding wine is as old as the drink itself. The Egyptians first used just clay pots to store their wine, but were unaware that this did absolutely nothing to contribute to the overall complexity of the wine.
The Romans, on the other hand, used wooden barrels to cask their wine, often using fire to bend the sides of the wooden planks to give the barrel its distinct rounded shape. One unintended effect of these fire-toasted barrels was that it gave the wine a completely different taste and complexity. Without realising it, the Romans’ toasting of their wine barrels meant that two identical wines stored in different toasted barrels for a varying periods of time could have very different taste profiles.
Nederburg currently makes use of four types of wood for oaking. These include French wood (both medium and intensely toasted), Eastern European intense toast wood and American light toast wood.
When you find the opportunity, sniff the wood chips From The barrels used to vint the wines; it offers an amazing insight into the complexity of your wine.
What is most interesting is that Nederburg has used these four wood types to change the taste profile of the same Cabernet Sauvignon – and the difference in tastes are unbelievable.
After these wines are explained by the world-renowned winery’s winemakers – including white wine maker Elmarie Notes, red wine maker Samuel Vijoen, and wine assistants Chandré Petersen and Heinrich Kulsen – a blending experience is a must-do activity. The Red Table Restaurant on the property showcases the best food that could be paired with the complexities of each wine.
Blending wine is simultaneously the most stressful and fun activity that comes to mind. You may mix as much a quantity of a wine as you please into your blend, but all four wooded wines must be used, and the quantity of the wines used must equal 100. The most nerve-racking part is when the expert winemakers sample the wine you have blended. The pressure is on.
Nederburg is not just famous for its wines, but also its uninterrupted beauty.
You may not get too far, however, a gorgeous canape and wine pairing takes place in a room overlooking the vineyard and blood-red sunset.
It is obvious that each canape and wine pairing is carefully thought out, and each one will leaving you lingering for the next taste and sip.
The Gorgonzola cheesecake and a wooded Chenin Blanc pairing takes you by surprise – who would have thought of creating a gorgonzola cheesecake and pairing it with something as fruity and crisp as an Chenin?
Each sip will leave you more astounded at the pairing choices, and applauding the genius behind it.
Leaving Nederburg is a sad affair. After a night of warm company and amazing wine, who would want to leave?
Although you cannot stay forever, you may take comfort in the fact that you can always come back – and I can guarantee that it will always be better than your last visit.
Pictures: Supplied/Nederburg Wine Farm