The Breedekloof Makers get lyrical about Chenin Blanc

Reblogged from

If Chenin Blanc was a song, what would it sound like?

Instead of embarking on a hyper-intellectual scientific discourse on Chenin Blanc, the Breedekloof Makers – a band of like-minded winemakers crafting small quantities of terroir-specific Chenin Blanc from grapes grown in the Breedekloof Wine Valley – have introduced their new vintages matched to a specific song.

The Breedekloof Makers, who officially introduced their collaborative initiative in 2015 at the international Cape Wine showcase, have been on a mission to showcase the quality of wines being made in the Breedekloof Wine region, as well as accentuating the diverse terroir pockets. Over 50% of the world’s Chenin Blanc is grown in South Africa, and 18% of all Chenin Blanc plantings in South Africa are found in the Breedekloof Valley. The wineries here produce a fifth of all the Chenin Blanc made in the country and it, therefore, follows that the state of Chenin Blanc in this valley goes on to set the tone for determining the quality of grape, nationally.

Currently, 12 winemakers bottle their Chenin Blanc under the Breedekloof Makers collaboration, each illustrating the winemakers’ unique approach to this popular varietal, while also revealing a few their own personalities.

The personalities – of the wine and the maker – are reflected in the songs these winemakers associate with their wines, and like the Chenin grape and the styles it lends itself to, the subsequent soundtrack is equally diverse:

Classics by Queen, Neil Diamond, Mark Knopfler, Hall & Oats, and The Eagles, Indie-pop hits by the Lumineers and Black Handed Kites, upbeat pop by Katy Perry and Journey, rock by U2, and an alternative song by Disturbed, are the suggested lyrical pairings.    

Says Attie Louw, from Opstal Estate: “Every winemaker is urged to express him and herself. For example, lees contact varies, as does time in barrel and general use of wood. As the initiative and our wines mature, we are noticing that more people are taking note and we have been really humbled by the positive reaction from all.”

“At a time when local and international communities are getting quite lyrical about South Africa’s Chenin Blanc, we thought it a fitting tribute to launch our new vintages matched to various songs, as far as setting the tone for Chenin Blanc goes – I would say it is a rather cool one.”

Want to pair your Breedekloof Makers Chenin Blanc to song? Follow this link to listen to the playlist.

  • Bergsig Estate Chenin Blanc Reserve matched to The Eagles’ Hotel California
  • Badsberg Chenin Blanc matched to Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise
  • Botha Kelder Barrel Fermented Bush Vine Chenin Blanc matched to Katy Perry’s Roar.
  • Deetlefs Reserve Chenin Blanc matched to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing
  • Lateganskop The Zahir matched to Queen’s It’s a Kind of Magic
  • Merwida Family Vintners Chenin Blanc matched to U2’s A Beautiful Day
  • Olifantsberg Chenin Blanc matched to Black Handed Kites’ Up
  • Opstal Carl Everson Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc matched to Mark Knopfler’s As It Is
  • Daschbosch Steen matched to Disturbed’s Sound of Silence
  • Stofberg Family Vineyards Mariëtte Chenin Blanc matched to Hall & Oats’ You Make My Dreams Come True
  • Jason’s Hill Beatrix Chenin Blanc matched to The Lumineers’ Flowers in your Hair

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