Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9NN
Old world or new world?
It’s an accepted cliché that anywhere outside mainland Europe is part of the “new world”. But as in Argentina and Chile, Vitis Vinifera grapes were planted in South Africa hundreds of years before the modern wine making traditions that we are familiar with started to develop in the 19th Century. South Africa’s oldest wine estate, Constantia, was established in 1685, and Vin de Constance was being exported to Europe in the late 1700s. This is a country with a rich wine making past, developed by both French Hugenots and Dutch Boers, and now being handed from the KWV behemoth to a new rainbow generation of independent winemakers.
The majority of winemaking is in the rugged Western Cape, whose mountainous ancient soils are never far from the cooling effects of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We will taste wines from the major coastal regions including Paarl, Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Elgin/Walker Bay and Constantia in the foothills of Table Mountain. Pinotage is South Africa’s signature red grape, and Chenin Blanc has developed a fabulous reputation here, but we will also taste major international varieties such as Chardonnay (still and sparkling), Cabernet Sauvignon, and of course Muscat in sublime Constantia sweet wine.
We look forward to seeing you.
Tim Syrad, who has 25 years experience of running wine tastings, runs Teddington Wine Society, which meets at on the final Friday of the month in the Bell Room at the Landmark Centre. Tim is a fervent advocate that wine is to be enjoyed without snobbery. Whether you are a complete novice or an experienced taster, there will be plenty to learn and enjoy. Tim also runs the monthly Richmond Wine Society and hosts fine wine tastings and dinners in local restaurants.