As if you needed a reason to say yay for Chardonnay! Today, May 21 marks International Chardonnay Day, so fill your glass and take a sip to understand why this classic grape variety is one of the world’s most widely planted grapes.
Two main types of Chardonnay are produced – an unoaked version, which is lighter, more citrusy and crisper than a Chardonnay that is matured in oak barrels, and an oaked Chardonnay, which tends to have nutty, buttery flavours on the mid-palate.
If you happen to raise a glass of South African-made Chardonnay this week, consider how Vriesenhof’s founder Jan “Boland” Coetzee helped to make this happen…
As much as he was a legend on the rugby field, playing for Western Province and South Africa in the 1960s and 70s, Coetzee has also become a wine legend in his own right, receiving an honorary doctorate – Doctor of Science in Agriculture – from Stellenbosch University last year. More recently, he was awarded the 1659 Medal of Honour at the annual Wine Harvest Commemorative event held at Groot Constantia.
Not only has he made some of South Africa’s greatest wines and influenced other winemakers, but he played a major role in “introducing” the Chardonnay grape to South Africa in 1980, while working in France. Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee’s passion for the potential of this green-skinned grape was laid bare in 1986.
At the time the South African wine industry mostly consisted of plantings of just two other white grapes, and Coetzee and other Chardonnay-loving winemakers realised that if they waited for the establishment of a new grape variety through normal processes, the country would fall behind the rest of the world both as a producer and exporter.
The current vintages of Vriesenhof are the Unwooded Chardonnay 2019, which has beautiful aromas of citrus and gooseberries, with flavours of fresh apple and a lingering lemon freshness, and the Barrel Fermented Vriesenhof Chardonnay 2016 which has aromas of almond and hints of white peach and pear on the palate, with a citrus finish. The wine has spent 12 months in 1st and 2nd fill French oak barrels.
If you are sadly contemplating your dwindling or non-existent wine collection, take a look at their website for low prices on offer until 31 May 2020 so that you can stock up on our great Chardonnays and enjoy them with your loved ones soon.
RSP: UW Chardonnay 2019 – R90
LOCKDOWN PRICE R65
RSP: Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 – R200
LOCKDOWN PRICE R150
Prices & Delivery Valid for RSA Only
Purchase Vriesenhof at: Makro, Checkers Liquor Shops, Wine Concepts, selected boutique retailers and online HERE…