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Words: Richard Holmes | Images: Supplied

With the winter rains finally making an appearance, it’s the ideal time for lighting the fire, putting something hearty in the oven and opening a fine bottle of Cape Port.

Wondering why it’s called Cape Port? An agreement with the EU in 2012 requires all Port-style wine made in South Africa to be named Cape Port, to protect Portugal’s claim to the original name.

No matter. An excellent place to start is the De Krans Cape Vintage. This wine hails from Calitzdorp, the Cape Port capital of the Winelands, and delivers the intense and full-bodied flavours that you’d expect from aged Cape Port. It’s crafted from a single vintage, and pairs particularly well with meaty meals.

Just down the road from De Krans, Boplaas is equally famous for its fortified wines, and its Cape Tawny won the “Best Port in SA” trophy at the 2017 Cape Port Producers Association Awards. A blend of Tinta Barocca, Touriga Nacional and Souzão, this non-vintage Cape Tawny – named for its golden hue – is aged in large oak barrels for between 10 and 12 years. Expect a full and rich palate of brandied fruits, roast nuts, spice and honey. It will pair well with anything from mature cheeses to Asian-style tapas.

On the outskirts of Stellenbosch, family-owned Overgaauw has been making Cape Port for decades, and was the first, in 1992, to bottle a wine made entirely from the classic Portuguese cultivar Touriga Nacional. Today, the estate’s Cape Vintage is made from six traditional varieties – Tinta Barocca, Tinta Francisca, Cornifesto, Souzão, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional – all harvested at the same time and co-fermented before being fortified with brandy spirit. It’s a Cape Port with the structure to age a few years but is also ready to be enjoyed this winter.

De Krans Wine Cellar
044 213 3314

Boplaas Family Vineyards
044 213 3326

Overgaauw Wine Estate
021 881 3815

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