Stellenbosch has been selected as the global meeting point this November for a prestigious, multi-disciplinary congress on Chenin Blanc, a grape variety regarded as key to the future of wine growing. One of the world’s most heat-tolerant and versatile cultivars, it is South Africa’s signature white wine grape. The country has more Chenin vines planted than the rest of the world combined, but Chenin’s birthplace is the Loire in France.

Vergelegen wine estate, one of South Africa’s premier wine producers, has announced the appointment of its new winemaker. Luke O'Cuinneagain will  take up his appointment around September this year, following  in the footsteps of legendary André van Rensburg (1998-2022) and Martin Meinert (1989-1998). O'Cuinneagain has been winemaker at Glenelly Estate in Ida’s Valley, Stellenbosch, since 2008, and previously worked for Rustenburg Estate for five years.

The inaugural vintage of a milestone Sauvignon blanc wine has been released by the 13 wineries of the Durbanville Wine Valley that supplied the wine for its making. While collaborations of this scale are rare, it is the region’s reputation for pioneering and award-winning Sauvignon blanc that makes this an outstanding contribution to the pantheon of South African wine. The cool, two ocean-influenced climate of the Durbanville Wine Valley is ideal for the slow and flavourful development of wine grapes, particularly Sauvignon blanc. It is for this reason that Durbanville is one of oldest and most favoured wine regions at the Cape, consistently taking top international honours for Sauvignon blanc in particular.

After all the stresses and uncertainties of the past two years taking time out to restore mind, body and soul is surely what you need? De Hoop Collection, a premier Cape Country Routes member, situated in the pristine De Hoop Nature Reserve with its various accommodation options of affordable self-catering cottages, upmarket suites and fully catered lodges, is arguably one of the most perfect places to do just that.

Steenberg, one of the jewels of the Constantia Wine Valley, is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc, offering a diversity of styles and wines of remarkable ageability.

In celebration of International Sauvignon Blanc Day on Friday, 6 May 2022, Steenberg has dedicated the entire month of May to this cornerstone variety with exciting tasting experiences for visitors to the Tasting Room, restaurant patrons at Tryn and Bistro Sixteen82, hotel guests and Wine Club members. Adding the element of surprise, wine lovers will be taken on a mystery journey of five different expressions of Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc, all tasted blind.

Lovers of fine Stellenbosch wines worldwide can now purchase the very best this celebrated wine region has to offer in one place, online and at cellar door prices. The Simon Wine Emporium, in association with Stellenbosch Wine Routes, is dedicated exclusively to labels that are Wine of Origin Stellenbosch – making it the first offering of its kind in South Africa.

STELLENBOSCH READY TO HOST SA CHEESE FESTIVAL

While the popular South African Cheese Festival was presented this past weekend for the first time since 2019 as a pop-up festival at Groote Post outside Darling, it is Stellenbosch's turn this long weekend, from Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May 2022.

"We are incredibly excited to host a festival again," says Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, organiser of the SA Cheese Festival since 2002. "It is a wonderful experience to create this platform for cheesemakers and agricultural entrepreneurs to promote their products to a wider audience. Festivalgoers can look forward to a wide variety of exhibitors offering local, international, and handmade cheeses, selected wines, craft beer and gin, as well as niche products for tasting and sale. New products that will be launched range from goat’s milk cheese spread to CBD infused rooibos, ‘eikesap’ gin infused with acorns, red wine and rosemary herbal salt, biltong jam with habanero honey, and even ‘wine teeth’.”

Strauss & Co envisage a future where collectors can hold an entire portfolio of wines from across the world in their crypto wallets

  The last hour of the Strauss & Co Icon South African Wine NFT on-line auction saw frenetic bidding as collections of five of South Africa’s finest wines were sold as non-fungible tokens for the first time. Prices exceeded estimates on several lots with Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance vertical collection from 1986-2027 reaching R1,251,800 including commissions. Meerlust’s 50-year vertical of their famous Rubicon reached R1,081,100, while Vilafonté Series C 2003-2027 reached R569,000, Mullineux Olerasay 1-20 achieved R318,640 and Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2000-2025 reached R250,360. The unique digital contracts hold between 20 and 50 vintages, with collections from 66 to 288 bottles.