ABOUT: ISAW Foundation: The International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW) is a US-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is building sustainable communities through viticulture. ISAW's vision is to reduce poverty and create economic opportunity in Africa through the business of wine.
Viticulture (wine farming) is the largest contributor to the Western Cape’s economy in the agricultural sector. In 1994, for the first time, blacks had an opportunity to become landowners. 16-18 years later,
there are only two black-owned family vineyards in South Africa’s $3 Billion wine industry. The ISAW Foundation was created to offer training for blacks (historically marginalized to grape pickers and maintenance positions), broadening their participation in the wine industry, and creating new found economic opportunities in the rural communities of South Africa’s Western Cape Winelands. In short, the unfortunate legacy of centuries of discrimination is an uneducated and untrained workforce, jeopardizing the sustainability of an industry that employs over 275,000 workers.
(text used is from ISAW's website)
"M’Hudi: In 2003, Malmsey and Diale “Oupa” Rangaka left their respective careers in medicine and academia and moved to the Western Cape to purchase a vineyard. After several months of searching, the Ranganka’s made history procuring a 103-acre wine and fruit farm outside of Stellenbosch, South
Africa, and in the process becoming the first black family in the countries history to do so. The move to Stellenbosch was courageous and inspired. From the beginning, it was this amazing story that became the catalyst for forming the ISAW Foundation. ISAW has established a close relationship with the family, and are working to establish a viticultural training center on this historic property.
Seven Sisters: The Brutus sisters (and youngest and sole brother, John) were raised in Paternoster, a small fishing village on the western coast of South Africa. In 1983, their father lost his job as a fisherman after 20 years. The sisters were forced to leave the village, split among family members after their parents were no longer able to care for them. Over twenty years later, the sisters, led by middle sister, Vivian, reunited to establish their own wine company. A thoughtful market strategy, the sisters selected a wine to match either of their respective styles and personalities. The company has seen tremendous growth in the first 4 years. In 2009, they became the second black-owned family vineyard in South Africa. A year earlier they became the first wine-ever- from South Africa to be served in an international flight. We are encouraged by their opportunity, and proud of the role our Foundation has played in raising awareness on behalf of this family, and their incredible journey to groundbreaking entrepreneurism. My favorite way to toast the sisters is with Odelia’s rare and delicious bukketraube. A peach flavored honey-suckle delight that is suitable on its own in the summer and with a blue cheese in the winter. "
"All From a Sip of Rose"
ISAW Stephen on CBS Atlanta
Heritage Link Brands:
Support ISAW at these Atlanta Retailers:
Wine Shoe in Castleberry Hill
Tower Wine & Spirits
Ansley Wine Merchants
Whole Foods (may have to ask for it).
Wines We Tasted:
Welcome Wines: 2008 & 2006 Kanonkop Estate Wine Paul Sauer - 13.5% alcohol, we tried both vintages. These were wines from Ardela's private cellar, and may not be easy to obtain. She said this is the #2 wine in South Africa.
Varietals: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot
2) Seven Sisters - Pinotage Rosé – Twena
Production / Vinification Methods: A lighter style of Pinotage. This wine is selected from all the available Pinotage grapes in the cellar with the final product’s colour, flavour, taste and complexity in mind. The grapes are fermented on the skins for 2 – 4 hours to extract the colour.
Soil / Viticulture practices: The cultivar is grown on a variety of soil types in the Malmesbury region, but mainly shale and oakleaf.
Climate: The Swartland falls within the coastal winter rainfall area. Warm summers, moderated by cool Atlantic breezes. Annual rainfall: 400mm.
Tasting: Light strawberry colour. Berry flavours on the nose with easy drinking structure on palate.
Official Analysis Alc: 13.85 / TA: 5.7 / RS: 2.3 / pH: 3.63
3) Seven Sisters - Bukettraube - Odelia
Production / Vinification Methods: Grapes come from unirrigated bushvines with yields of between 7 and 8 ton/ha. Hand harvested at optimum ripeness at 24°B. All grapes are crushed and skin contact of ±4 hours are allowed to extract the flavours. Light bag press follows and the cleaned juice is fermented to retain maximum aroma. At required sugar level the fermentation process is stopped to produce a well balanced, natural sweet wine.
Soil / Viticulture practices: Grown on selected, deep, red soils with optimum possibilities to ripen the grapes.
Climate: The Swartland falls within the coastal winter rainfall area, moderated by cool Atlantic breezes. Annual rainfall: 400mm average.
Tasting: Typical full rich Bukettraube flavours with strong supporting of Muscat flavours. Rich honey grape natural sweet flavours that mingle with the bouquet.
Official Analysis: Alc: 11.34 / TA: 5.3 / RS: 27.8 / pH: 3.50
4) M’Hudi Pinotage
Varietal: 100% Pinotage
Tasting Notes: This medium-bodied wine is a rich purple colour with a youthful edge, subtle oak spice, plums and vanilla on the nose with silky tannins on the palate.
Ageing Potential: Although this wine is ready to drink now, it should keep well for a further five years after purchase.
Food Suggestions: The wine is light and easy drinking to enjoy on its own, or try it with barbeques, steaks and pot roasts. You can also match it with oxtail.
Alcohol : 14.0 %vol
pH : 3.66
RS : 1.63 g/l
Total Acid : 5.51 g/l
Appellation : Stellenbosch
5) 2005 Meerlust Rubicon
This was a wine from Ardela's private cellar, and may not be easy to obtain. She said this is/was the #1 wine in South Africa.
winemaker's notes: The wine has an intense, opaque deep ruby color, very slight gradation to the rim. Bright and vivacious in the glass, very youthful. The nose is brooding and restrained at this stage, yet beginning to emerge with deep, dark fruit, cassis, plum and black cherry. There is a pronounced minerality on the nose with graphite, cedar smoke and cigar box bouquet. The palate is beautifully structured, fuller bodied than some earlier vintages of Rubicon due to the intensity of the fruit and intricate tannin structure. The wine exhibits rich juiciness and savour already, but the compactness and sinewy taughtness of this young wine suggest a long maturation potential. The perfectly formed, ripe tannins are densely packed and tightly woven but remain lithe and almost powdery, giving the wine a generous opulence even at this early phase of its development.alcohol by volume: 14.0%