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Gift Guide: 3 Wonderful South African Wines Worth Gifting

Whether you’re in the market for yourself or another wine collector, these are the wines to buy now

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By Kimberley Schoeman  | February 2, 2024 | Gift Guide

The world of wine is often overlooked as a thoughtful and luxurious gift to give during the holidays and birthdays. Think about it, we bring a bottle of champagne to moments of celebration, and bottles of wine to dinners as a guest. So why wouldn’t you give a bottle of wine as a fabulous Christmas gift?

Online Content Producer at House & Garden SA, Kimberley Schoeman waxes lyrical on some of the best wines to gift this festive season:

To take things a bit further, it is definitely worth it to go the extra mile when deciding on a wine to gift. Do some homework on what kind of wines your friends or family prefer: white, red, rosé, sparkling, or even orange. Sure, you could gift an expensive bottle of wine from a sixth generation farm perched in the bucolic Franschhoek or Stellenbosch Winelands, but you could also share a relatively inexpensive wine from up and coming winemakers too.

However, for this Gift Guide, I have omitted the more well-known wineries in favour of young and interesting winemakers from lesser-known regions like the Swartland.

As a young wine drinker and hobbiest, I am personally looking for wines that don’t come from the same vines as Jan Van Riebeeck’s first vineyards, nor from the same ten wineries that dominate the shelves of bottle stores (albeit their range of wines and prices to match is great), but they don’t carry the same personality as other dare I say, funkier wines. These centuries-old wineries are divine, don’t get me wrong, but for a long time have carried a pungent whiff of snobbery that doesn’t sit well on the palettes of many young folk who either love drinking wines or want to learn more about wines.

That is why this festive season, I am making a case by highlighting 3 young and fun winemakers who are doing things differently with passion.

Minimalist Wines

I have had many conversations with Acid Wine Bar’s co-owner and sommelier Jemma Styer, who has put me on to wines that have become some of my favourites, which I can’t help but share and recommend as if they were my own discoveries. One that has become a firm favourite for drinking and gifting is a bottle of syrah by Minimalist Wines by winemaker Sam Lambson.

Syrah is simply a more elegant name for shiraz, but the bottles from Minimalist Wines exude a just as elegant and thoughtful flair. I recommend picking up a bottle of the Stars in the Dark Syrah, which retails for R262. One thing I love about a bottle of Stars in the Dark is the collections of stories that are literally and figuratively infused into the wine. From delicious peppery notes to the whiffs of the farmer's smoked charcuteries.

Intelego Wines

Drinking a glass of one of my favourite juicy reds at Cape Town’s Publik Wine Bar has become a weekly ritual. Let me introduce you to a widely loved fan favourite: The Kedungu Red Blend by Intellego Wines. You may have seen the Intellego Wines of winemaker Jurgen Gouws with their instantly recognisable illustrated labels and unique names including the Sleeping Co-Pilot, a delicious white wine, or Elementis, their chenin blanc.

But Kedungu is different from any other red I’ve ever sipped habitually. The wine is so smooth and is one of the only wines that does not make my mind and body feel heavy, tense, and tart after one glass. Retailing for only R165, Kedungu is a wonderfully whimsical choice for anyone looking to foray into the world of natural wines.

Processus

Processus is a delightful female-owned wine by Megan Van Der Merwe, a winemaker at the world famous winery Beau Constantia and Beata America. Not only do I love gifting a bottle of Processus in support of female winemakers, but the wine speaks to the notion of rediscovering wine labels as art, which I hear was the starting point for the bottle of Processus Maria Gomes. This particular wine is an ephemeral experience that is all about transparency and trusting the process: ‘The art of becoming’.