Since the UN declaration in November 2009, Mandela Day has been celebrated every year on 18 July, the anniversary of apartheid revolutionary, philanthropist and South African President Nelson Mandela's birthday. Itís not classed as a public holiday, rather an invitation to honour his legacy and values.
Wine has been produced in South Africa since 1659 with the first recorded being grown in Cape Town. There was an apparently substantial effort to plant vineyards and produce wine to protect the sailors from scurvy as they voyaged East on the Spice routes.
Fittingly we've picked what are considered the most South African red and white wines - Pinotage and Chenin Blanc - as the focus of our toast to Nelson Mandela on his birthday.
Pinotage is South Africaís signature variety. A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut-known as Hermitage in South Africa-it was first cultivated in 1925 and has historically been most associated with the Stellenbosch wine producing area. More recently Paarl and the coastal region have had huge success in producing South Africaís flagship red wine. The perfect partner for gamey meat such as Boerewors, the typical high meat content sausage; and Bunnychow stew traditionally served in a hollowed out loaf of bread, it is the wine all South Africanís turn to when they fire up the Ďbraiií
Take your pick from one of these:
Roos Estate Pinotage, 2019, Western Cape £ 6.45
Soft, spicy fruit flavours, smooth and succulent. Lovely foreveryday drinking
Tulbagh Winery Shiraz Pinotage, Coastal Region£9.25
Blended with Shiraz to add a hint of spiciness this lovely blend bursts with blackberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours, with coffee and chocolate notes. Smooth and rich
Niel Joubert Patrysbult Pinotage, 2017, Paarl £9.45
A patrysbult is a small hillock at the very top of the vineyard where the pheasants hide out and survey their domain. A deep, balanced structure with earthy notes and a long finish.
Chenin Blanc's origins are in the Loire valley in France, however it is the most planted grape in South Africa, most notably in Stellenbosch and the Coastal region. Historically known as Steen most are high in acidity, crispier and zestier than Loire Chenin with signature notes of peardrops and banana, some are more rounded, full and creamy. All pair well with the kind of seafood salads that are abundant in the South African Cape such as crab, sardines and squid.
Roos Estate Chenin Blanc, 2020, Western Cape £6.45
Crisp and vibrant with citrus fruit flavours
Afrikan Ridge Chenin Blanc, 2020, Western Cape£6.95
Fuller and fruitier in the mouth but dry with a lingering crisp acidity
Darling Cellars Arum Fields Chenin Blanc Reserve,2020, West Coast Region £8.45
Fresh, rich and creamy with hints of pepper and bananas
Niel Joubert ĎByterí Chenin Blanc, 2019, Paarl£8.65
Named after Nielís sweet big dog who used to follow him around the farm this is a fabulous full, rich Chenin bursting with pineapple and banana flavours
Tulbagh Winery Chenin Blanc, 2019, Coastal Region£8.95
Fresh and tingly on the nose with hints of banoffee pie. Smooth and generous with more banana and toffee flavours.