If Riebeek Kasteel is one of your go-to country destinations, chances are you’ve popped into Short Short on more than one occasion, including the blue building (third building from the right in the image above). If you have, you’ll know that the latter is home to one of the best boutique wine shops around.
At the Wine Kollective you won’t find mass-produced commercial wines or well known labels available everywhere. What you will find is a selection of wines from the Swartland region,low sulphur and made with minimal interference, that you won’t find anywhere else. Wines hail from Sequillo Cellars and Sadie Family Wines, Lemmershoek Private Wine Cellar, Mullineux, Annex Kloof, A. A. Badenhorst, Farm 1120, Babylon’s Peak, Dragonridge, Tres Estrellas and Santa Cecilia, to name just a few of the select estates.
If you think exclusive equates to overpriced, think again; not only are all wines offered at cellar door prices, Wine Kollective has free tastings every weekend.
Not all of us can head out to Riebeek Kasteel on a regular basis, though, no matter how much we’d like to. So the Wine Kollective delivers anywhere in South Africa.
I asked owner Anton Espost to recommend two wines (while wondering what impact it would have on my budget). His choices (descriptions taken from website):
SANTA CECILIA 1 CHENIN BLANC 2011 – 75% Chenin Blanc, 10% Roussanne, 10% Grenache Blanc, 5% Viognier. Natural wild yeast, fermented in the barrel. The same blend as the Santa Cecilia 2, but using the driest barrels. Stunning apple and citrus with a crisp clean mouth feel. With food or without food, the best thing to a Santa Cecilia is another Santa Cecilia!
Price per bottle: R75
TRES ESTREL LAS EL PRESIDENTE 2010 – The El Presidente 2010 was the recipient of the President’s Cup (Gouda Book Club) as winner of the “Best Red…ever” category. The wine is a wild natural yeast fermentation of Riebeeksrivier grapes. Initially the wine was matured in (very) old barrels as a way of reducing costs (we started with prohibitively expensive grapes), but now that the wine turned out very dandy, we have a different spin on things and it goes like this:- “Intentional minimal wood transfer has resulted in a full bodied spicy red wine, where the Shiraz grape is the undominated star character. Indeed fit for a dictator”. Don’t let the price fool you.
Price per bottle: a ridiculous R45!
And if you find the descriptions above amusing, you’re going to want to read the Wine Kollective website from home page to last, from how the Wine Kollective came to be, to how Kasteelberg got its name, and everything in between. I’m sure A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines is the only wine estate that owes its existence to Hunter S. Thompson, Elvis and a wedding in Vegas.
All content on the website is written by Anton, so I blame him for the time it took to complete this article; I was reading and laughing far more often than I was taking notes and writing.
Forget about 42, the combination of laughter and excellent wine is the meaning of life.