South African wine has a history dating back to 1659, but it hasn’t been until recently that they are gaining acclaim as one of the top wine producers in the world. That brings us to Babylonstoren, one of the oldest Cape Dutch farm yards that makes its own wine. The farm is an oasis of fine food, accommodations, and gardens. I recently got acquainted with Babylonstoren Winesduring a tasting and wine dinner that they hosted in Manhattan. Their cellarmaster, Charl Coetzee, was also in attendance. Coetzee is quite humble about making the award winning wines. I asked him how he got into the wine business and it was not a life long dream of his. It kind of just happened. I would say that it appears that he has found his true calling. When Coetzee saw the cellar at Babylonstoren, he knew that it was where he wanted to be.
The unique logo on the wine bottle captures the essence of the wine The pipe represents the farm. the flower represents the garden, and the bird represents nature. There are six wines Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Mourvèdre Rosé,Babel Red, Shiraz, and Chardonnay. The Chenin Blanc was probably my favorite of the evening, with the rosé coming at a close second. All of the wines were quite good, the ones that I sipped on were great for a hot New York day.
If you can’t make it to South Africa to check out the winery, there is a cookbook, BABEL by Maranda Engelbrecht, which shares the same name as the famous restaurant at Babylonstoren. The book is packed with gorgeous pictures of the farm and farm to table recipes. It is a peak at what happens behind the scenes in South Africa. It would make a wonderful table top book or a gift for a foodie.
This unique wine may be hard to find, but it’s worth your time. You can also order from their website.