Indaba Chenin Blanc 2009
Indaba (pronounced in-dah-bah) is a word that has widespread use throughout South Africa. It means ”to come together,” and Indaba believes their wines embody that spirit. Indaba works closely with conscientious farmers in prime appellations who have perfected the art of grape growing over generations and strive to continuously improve critical conservation practices. Giving back to the people and place where the wines come from has always been a key part of their philosophy. For over 20 years Indaba has invested in social progress in the Cape Winelands where it is produced. A portion of all sales supports organizations that are working to empower the region and its people, building a brighter future. Fresh and easy-drinking with a quality that is unbeatable, they are made for everyday and suitable for any occasion. Grab a bottle on your way home from work, bring one over to a friend’s house for dinner, or simply enjoy a glass whenever you need a getaway to a sunny state of mind.
With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.
Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.
South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Somm Secret—Landing in South Africa in the mid 1800s, today the country has double the acreage of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. There is also a new wave of dedicated producers committed to restoring old Chenin vines.