On March 18 I had the pleasure to attend the inaugural event for the 2010 Drink Well Do Good Tour, sponsored by International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW), a community oriented South African non-profit organization. The goal for this Tour is to raise $150,000 to acquire a viticultural training center and wine estate in the Western Cape of South Africa. The tour starts on April, 2010 and will include stops in New Orleans, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Eugene, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Detroit, Chicago, New York, DC, Atlanta and Cape Town.
The wine tasting event was open to the Atlanta media and took place at Ten Degrees South Restaurant. I had the opportunity to meet Atlanta native, sommelier and cofounder of ISAW; Stephen Satterfield, Robbi Stiell, vice president of sales for Heritage Link Brands (Wine importer) and Vivian Kleynhans, owner and founder of Seven Sisters Winery from South Africa and partner of ISAW. We also enjoyed the artwork of of D. Lammie Hanson, a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Harlem, New York.
I did enjoy tasting three well crafted wines from Seven Sisters Winery from South Africa:
- Seven Sister Sauvignon Blanc (Vivian): This wine is pale yellow with clean pear, fig, stone and lemon grass aromas. On the palate this wine shows crisp minerality with flavors of kiwi, pineapple and notes of green pepper and lemon/citrus. This Sauvignon Blanc is refreshing with a nice acid/fruit balance; it has a moderate fruity finish. This wine is a great candidate to pair with shellfish, fish and chicken with uncomplicated sauces.
- Seven Sisters Bukettraube (Odelia): Made form 100% Bukettraube, a grape brought over from Germany. South Africa is one of the few wine producing countries bottling wine from this grape. This wine have a dark straw color and nice floral aroma with hints of orange peel and kiwi. In the palate you taste melon, lychee and hints of pineapple and stone minerality. This is an elegant wine with balance acidity and great fruit flavor; great food wine that will pair well with slightly sweet entrees like butternut squash ravioli on a cream sauce or scallops on a buttery sauce. The off dry sweetness of this wine will pair well with moderately spicy asian food and also will go great with not overly sweet desserts.
- Seven Sisters Pinotage/Shiraz (Dawn): This is an example of an extraordinary blend: (50% Pinotage and 50% Shiraz). This wine shows a deep ruby red color and rich dark plum, black berries and peppery aroma accented by beautiful earthy notes. On the palate is an explosion of ripe plum, dark berries nicely combine with white pepper and spices. This is a well thought grape blend that combine the earthiness of the pinotage and the peppery and spicy notes of the shiraz; it shows firm but very smooth pleasant tannins. This wine has a great balance and a long and enjoyable smoky finish. It will be great to experience this wine after some aging on the bottle but is great to drink now. This wine will be a perfect match for grilled steaks, lamb or wild boar, it will also pair well with aged cheeses.
In Atlanta you can find Seven Sisters Winery wines at: Tower Wine & Spirits, Ansley Wine Merchants, Vino Libro ,Whole Foods and other fine wine retailers.
The ISAW Foundation is in partnership with Seven Sisters Winery and three other wineries in South Africa. Part of their mission is to enable meaningful and effective participation of black people within the South African economy by developing their skills. The focus of the ISAW is is to bring awareness and assistance to transformative social projects within the South African wine industry. Their vision for the training center is to have a functioning winery where workers can learn the entire process of managing and operating a winery.