Wine Knots experience “Out of Africa” evening

Wine safari hosted by Theresa and Bill Peoples

Wine safari hosted by Theresa and Bill Peoples

Theresa Peoples

Bill and Theresa Peoples hosted the Wine Knots on a brisk January evening in 2016 for a “taste of South Africa.” In January of 2011 Bill and Theresa traveled to South Africa for an unforgettable experience. They shared a homemade movie of their photos from the trip highlighting Victoria Falls, Tonganezi Lodge in Zambia, The Chobe National Park in Botswana and Londalozi, a private game reserve in Kruger National Park. Although they did not visit the wine country in South Africa, they experienced the “tastes” of the country while visiting. Upon returning home they were very surprised to find a wide selection of South African wines in a local wine store.

In preparation for the evening, research found South African wineries have emerged in the last 10 years as some of the best valued red and white wines and of the highest quality.

The Stellenbosch area is a sub-region within the Coastal Region of South Africa, which is much like the Californian Napa Valley. Stellenbosch is the center of wine tourism with the highest rated wines coming from the alluvial fans of the granite mountains in this region. A Sterhuis Chardonnay 2011 was the first wine sampled. The name “Sterhuis” means “Star House” originating during the 17th century when inhabitants of Cape Town confused the light on the farm with the evening star Venus. Most of South Africa’s regions are not particularly well suited for Chardonnay, but the coastline along the south stays cool. This Chardonnay has a precise mineral nose and the palate is well-balanced with crisp, citrus tinged entry with subtle notes of orange zest and almond and a smoke-tinged finish.

The Wine Knots then sampled a 2010 Game Reserve Cabernet from the Western Cape Graham Beck Robertson Winery. South African Cabernet Sauvignon fits in between new world and old world. The grapes are some of the most popular because of their savory complexity. This wine has a complexity of berry fruit and cassis on the nose, which is supported by a spicy mineral and cigar box flavor.

Graham Beck Wines are recognized leaders in environmentally-friendly family farming in South Africa and demonstrate their commitment to conservation by establishing a 3,700 acre game reserve adjacent to the Robertson Winery. By purchasing this wine, contributions are made toward the preservation of South Africa’s precious natural heritage.

The Wine Knots experienced South Africa with at least three of their senses, and all enjoyed food and wine while watching the “Big Five” – white rhino, lions, leopards, water buffalo and hippos in their natural habitats.