A Shiraz Awakening
Besides a plethora of industry bodies, the South African wine industry is awash with organisations representing – or purporting to represent – a specific wine made from one grape. There is a Pinotage Association, a Chardonnay Forum, Just Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group, Pinot Noir Interest Group and even a Merlot Forum. To name but a few.
Barring the Pinotage Association and the Méthode Cap Classique Association, most of these producers’ forums keep things pretty secret. Perhaps they are dissecting fluffy animals with Medieval secateurs in dank dungeons or practising their secret brotherly handshakes, but one would expect a bit more openness and enthusiasm surrounding what is, essentially, a fun topic.
Others, like the Chenin Blanc Association, have loud, demonstrative talk-shops in exotic locations without coming up or actioning any reason for their existence.
All-in-all, a pretty shoddy state of affairs.
Shiraz SA I like, despite me not being the fondest Shiraz drinker this side of the Atlantic. Shiraz SA has cool public tastings, insightful seminars and a bunch of members from diverse wine regions. They seem to be able to throw the kitchen sink and the Riedl duck decanter at promoting Shiraz wine. I also really like its chairperson, Edmund Terblanche, whose commitment to the variety is exemplary in its professional seriousness. Plus, his wife Hetta has a very pretty smile.
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