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Words: Richard Holmes Images: Supplied

Making money in the wine industry is often all about volume, and few producers know that better than uniWines in the Breede River Valley. With more than 3,000ha of vineyard feeding fruit into its production cellars, uniWines is South Africa’s second-largest primary producer, with the portfolio stocking supermarket shelves from Walmart to Checkers to Sainsbury’s.

But when farmers on the sprawling farms across the valley unearth pockets of old vineyards – some dating back more than a century – it’s hard to resist the temptation to keep them aside from the mass-market bottlings. Which is how the Daschbosch stands out from the rest, highlighting older vineyards and unique cultivars from across the Breede River valley.

“It was never our intention to have an old wine focus,” explains Pieter Cronje, marketing director, uniWines, speaking at the launch of the new wines earlier this year. “We just happen to have jewels in our parcels of vineyard.”

Those jewels include the Daschbosch Steen, which has been in the market for a few years and offers great value from a valley never short of good chenin. Likewise, the Daschbosch Hanepoot, from gnarled vineyards said to have been planted in the late-1800s, is an elegant sweet wine best served chilled with a cheese platter.

They’re now joined by a pair of superb still white wines well worth discovering. The Daschbosch Avon – a single-varietal clairette blanche – pays tribute to the family-owned farm from which the grapes are sourced. This cultivar is more commonly used in a blend, but the fresh citrus notes, and subtle structure from barrel-fermentation make this one of the standouts of the new Daschbosch releases.

From old bush vines planted in 1977, the first harvest saw a mere 800kg reach the cellar, but yields are slowly improving, so there should be more of this on the shelves going forward.

Equally unusual is the Daschbosch Skin Contact, a blend of chenin blanc and Muscat with the wine left on the grape skins for six months after fermentation. Aromatics of the Muscat marry neatly with the fruit character of the chenin making this a great option for full-flavoured curries and Asian plates.

Goudini Cellar
023 349 1090

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