French Wines in South Africa
New partnership between French vignerons and Klein Constantia Estate owner.
Sorting the 2006 crush in Anwilka cellar, Stellenbosch, South Africa
The late 17th century saw French protestants flee their homeland in the wake of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which had guaranteed them religious tolerance. Many came to
Today, another wave of French vignerons are descending on the
Recently, Bruno Prats, previous owner of St. Estèphe Second Growth, Château Cos d'Estournel and Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, co-proprietor of St. Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, Château Angélus have arrived in the region. Anwilka is a joint venture between them and Lowell Jooste whose family owns Klein Constantia Estate, producer of Vin de Constance, the famed replica of the 18th Century Constantia dessert wine.
Jooste purchased Anwilka, at the foot of the Helderberg mountain in the Stellenbosch area, in 1997. After extensive replanting of the 40 hectares of vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah (
The partners' aim is to set a new benchmark of quality South African red wine. Prats explains their vision: "We're not interested in squandering resources on lavish gateways and buildings, but we will spend whatever it takes to enhance the quality of the wine."
The first release, a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend, was launched in
Other well-known names in French wine who have invested in Cape vineyards include Anne Cointreau-Huchon, whose family has interests in
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