Updated: Nov 21
One of the many unusual sensations of advancing in age is the constant reframing of what’s considered old. Alongside the ever-growing squeak of the bones and the silver strands that subtly intermingle with once-blonde hair, there’s also nostalgia that comes with this territory.
We’ve come a long way and thinking back on our wine journey, I vividly remember my first glass of wine, the first wine we ever made, the first prize one of our wines ever won. There’s an innocence to those memories, sweetened through the distorting lens of nostalgia, that’s all the more alluring in these challenging times.
A famous wine writer once wrote: “Nostalgia is painted as benign, the wistful remembering of happy memories; a mental movie montage. But psychologically, nostalgia is the yearning for an idealized past, referred to in psychoanalysis as ‘screen memory’. Nostalgia does not relate to a specific memory, but rather an emotional state – with all negative emotions filtered out.” This time of year never fails to fill me with nostalgia. While I can't quite pinpoint the exact reason, it could very well be the festive season that ignites it as the year draws to a close.
It is also the season for the South African wine industry’s most notable competitions and wine connoisseurs to announce their annual picks for must-drink wines and outstanding winery experiences. Of course, I know there's really no such thing as an awards season in the wine industry. Awards are bestowed on beautiful wines year-round, some flashy and high-profile as the Oscars or the Grammys and some, well not so Oscar-like. But this time of year, one might just as well imagine oneself in Hollywood on the red carpet with the Chenin Blanc Top Ten and the Cape Blend Awards, Platter Guide Awards, The Young Wine Show, Veritas, the Top Ten Pinotage … the list goes on.
Our Agaat JD made its debut on the list of the Absa Top 10 Cape Blend wines, and while I am so excited about this news, my nostalgic mind also takes me back to Pinotage with a dark red and powerful nose of sour cherry and notes of vanilla and the bold taste of tobacco and red fruit – the Pinotage from the Wamakersvallei and a wine that won Hugo the prestigious Gen Smuts Trophy at the annual Young Wine Show Competition in 2007. One of the first-ever wine trophies Hugo won. What a joyful occasion that was.
While our wines have enjoyed continual success over the years, we believe the real reward is in the enjoyment of the drinker. Wine is many things – nostalgia, taste, and memories, but more than anything it is in the heart. Wines are not attached to our imaginations only because of how they taste, their appeal lies in how they are.
Till next time.
PS: *It is part of the Pinotage legend that PK Morkel of Bellevue Estate won the Smuts Trophy in 1959 with Pinotage, an event that shook the Cape wine industry and led to many farms planting the new variety. However, it wasn't until 1987 that the winning variety was also recorded. Prior to then neither the South African National Wine Show Association nor Agri-Expo (the previous organizers of the show) knew with which wines the winning wineries achieved their win.