Cape Point disappears

There I was on the Sawis website, checking up something for a foreign notable too lazy or ignorant to do their own checking (I like to help!), when I noticed something interesting in the list of Wine of Origin areas. OK, maybe only dull geeks will also find it interesting, but here goes…

C:UserscupidojAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary InterThe district called Cape Point, expressly created some years ago to give a terroir home to that fine winery Cape Point Vineyards, has been repealed – that is, it no longer exists. In its place is an extended new district (the area that’s a size above a ward in the nest of Russian dolls that makes up the WO system) called Cape Peninsula. (The pic on the right shows it marked as “4” – if you want a map of all the Districts, see here.) Apparently this happened at the formal request of Cape Point Vineyards, which will, from the 2014 vintage, declare Cape Peninsula as its area of origin.

It actually makes a whole lot of sense. Now, the wards of Constantia and Hout Bay will fall within the Cape Peninsula District instead of being district-less little dolls rattling around in the Coastal Region.

As I’m a bit hazy about the description of the new district, and going by the map, I’d guess that, of the few “inner-city” vineyards whose wines are bottled by Jean-Vincent Ridon, the Olympia Cabernet Franc form Kalk Bay will fall into this new district, while the Camps Bay Vineyard and the Clos d’Oranje in Oranjezicht will not. [LATER NOTE: I’m told that in fact all these vineyards will fall within the Cape Peninsula District.)

So. Geekish stuff. As a geek, I’m reminded of two things. Firstly, how irritating it is that Sawis (exemplary in so many respects) doesn’t send out press releases when steps like this are taken.

Secondly, I’m reminded to wonder what is happening to the new regions proposed about three years ago to replace the absurd Coastal Region (absurd because it includes a lot of emphatically inland areas with no coastal significance, notably Paarl and Tulbagh). I reported on it, and criticised the new proposals, here.

The proposal was to create a Cape West Coast Region, to complement the newish Cape South Coast, as well as a Cape Coast Region, centred on Stellenbosch. Unfortunately, the proposals continued to include inland Tulbagh and Paarl – presumably for political reasons – under the new Coastal designations. The lack of progress in establishing new regions is probably for the same political reasons. Let me see if I can find out anything about this. Other geeks might like to know.

4 thoughts on “Cape Point disappears

  1. Seemingly CPV has enlarged their production and they want to include grapes from outside of Cape Point, but to many of us Cape Point’s grapes are not exactly equal to everything from Constantia.

    Wouldn’t it make sense then to create a Cape Point ward within the Cape Peninsula District? More marketing opportunities (I’m sure they would, for instance, then still label their Reserve Sauvignon as W.O. Cape Point) and sensibility all round, not so?

  2. Duncan Savage of Cape Point Vineyards has explained some of the thinking behind the shift they asked for. Firstly, it allows some interesting joint marketing with the other Peninsula wineries. Second, it does mean that in some short vintages CPV might be able to bring in grapes from Constantia (though, emphatically, Isliedh and the Reserve are not going to suddenly change their nature and become mass volume wines). Third it means that at their new restaurant they (as a white wine specialist) will be able to make wine from, eg, Stellenbosch cabernet, and label it as a “Cape Point Vineyards” wine – which would be impossible if “Cape Point” were still the name of a WO area. (That’s the answer to Kwispedor’s question about retaining the ward.) The new district does also allow the other scattered vineyards in and around Cape Town to have a “home” other than Western Cape – which is nice.

  3. Tim

    Please go and read my blog about the Estate Wine bottling system…We can’t just keep changing WO for the sake of certain wineries??

    However I totally agree that Coastal Region is absolutely absurd..explain that to a high end wine buyer in London, NYC or Hong Kong!!

  4. Colyn, I left a comment on your blog two days ago, after you alerted me to it. I don’t, however, agree with your position on the usefulness of the estate system, even if I agree with your general concerns.

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