20 May 2011

Aaldering Pinotage at LIWF

Hit of this years London International Wine Fair, which ended yesterday, was the new Wines of South Africa (WoSA) stand.

In a major break from previous years wines were available in a welcoming self-serve format. Instead of individual winery stands each with a pourer behind the counter, visitors were invited to ‘help themselves’ from a large number of themed circular pods.

Playing on WoSA’s long running slogan Variety is in our Nature was a stand invoking a sideshow tent at a travelling circus.

Colourful pods had headings including Cheerful Chenins, Wonderful Wellington, Splendid Swartland and Stars of Tomorrow. At the stand’s corners were towers of clean glasses topped by bottles of mineral water with an invitation to ‘help yourself’.

Bottles on pods nestled in individual holders and underneath each were containers of business card with wine and contact details.

I headed to the Popular Pinotage pod where I tasted the wines in turn. The first that made an impression was from Aaldering a name I had not previously encountered. It was a Stellenbosch WO from the 2007 vintage – the oldest wine on the stand -- and its red colour was getting a brownish tinge. There were mulberry fruits and a creamy almond nuttiness on the palate with a spicy finish.

By chance I met Janine Smink who is the Global Marketing & Sales Manager for the brand and she introduced me to owner Fons Aaldering, a Dutch business man who in 2004 bought the Devon Valley property previously owned by Hidden Valley winery.

Janine said that the Pinotage vines for their 2007 Pinotage were 15 years old and that Aaldering keep back their wines until they are mature before they are released. Currently sales are mostly to restaurants in Netherlands and they are looking for distribution in England and elsewhere.


For more about WoSA's stand at LIWF see


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