Wines From Worcester

Wines From Worcester

I could not believe it when I found some Pinot Grigio and Chenin Blanc growing in Worcester so of course I had to pop this into our case. Before you jump in the car and drive up and down the M5 looking for vineyards, Worcester is in fact a district that lies on the Breede River Valley located on the south coast of South Africa.

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Meertestein first appeared at our July's Members tasting. Some of the members were looking for good value, easy drinking wines and this pair certainly ticked that box.

Meerestein is made by roving South African winemaker, and complete horse nut, Marinda Kruger-van Eck. Based in Stellenbosch, she sources fruit from varying locations to make a wine style that best reflects the region. The Worcester wine region lies in the Breede River Valley, here the vineyards flourish on the alluvial valley soils with adequate drainage as they rest on a bed of river stones, perfect for the Pinot Grigio and Chenin Blanc used in this blend. The region covers a large proportion of the Breede River Valley and its tributaries.

Swartland, the 'Blackland'

The Shiraz-Mourvedre comes from the Swartland District from the Western Cape. The Swartland literally translated means ‘the black land’ and the area takes its name from the now endangered indigenous renosterbos (rhino bush) which once turned the landscape a dark colour at certain times of the year.

Traditionally a grain-producing area, in summer the Swartland district is marked by green pockets of vineyards clambering up the foothills of the mountains (Piketberg, Porterville, Riebeek, Perdeberg) and along the banks of the Berg River. In the past, the region was planted mainly to bushvines but trellising is increasingly being adopted due to advances in management strategies and quality considerations. Here Maridenia finds the red-brown granite solils perfect for making wonderfully rounded reds.

Behind the Label

Meerestein was one of many merchant ships the Dutch East India Company commisioned to be built in the late 1600s to carry cargo between the contients. In 1702 she sailed to South Africa and hit a reef off the Western Cape with the loss of all 200 people on board. Today, divers are still recovering the gold and silver from her cargo.

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