07 November 2014

AWS National Conference 2014

Back now and recovered from my journey to Charlotte-Concord, North Carolina to present at the American Wine Society National Conference 2014.

On Friday 31 October I ran a seminar on South African Chenin Blanc, covering its history, how it came to be called Steen and how its true identity was discovered, why there’s so much of it in the Cape and what its characteristics and we tasted four, Van Loveren ‘No. 5’ 2014, Bellingham ‘The Bernard Series’ Old Vine 2012, Mullineaux Family Wines ‘Kloof Street’ 2013 and DeMorgenzon Reserve 2013. This session was filmed and will be available to AWS members.

Saturday 1 November it was Pinotage’s turn in the spotlight. I looked at its history, places in the world growing it, its reputation, styles and the making of it. We tasted Beyerskloof Reserve 2012, Bellingham ‘Ancient Earth’ 2013 (blend with 20% Shiraz), Bellingham ‘The Bernard Series’ Bush Vine 2013 and Kanonkop Estate 2012.

Both sessions were filled to their 80 person capacity and this was a great opportunity to show South Africa’s two iconic varieties to an audience for many of whom this was their introduction to one or both. Feedback on the wines was overwhelmingly positive.

I am very grateful to Jim Clarke of Wines of South Africa USA for his help in contacting wine agents in the USA, Ina Smith of the Chenin Blanc Association and the following distributers who contributed wines to the sessions: Alba Botha – Cape Wine Match, Molly Choi – Cape Classics, Alister Glen – DGB and Fran Kysela – Kysela Pere & Fils Ltd.

Presenting at AWS National Conference

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