DISCOVER BONFIRE HILL WINES
Our man-made world is obsessed with sameness. The clue to the folly of that is in the natural world, which is defined by diversity. And South Africa has mind-blowing diversity, reflected in the floral kingdom of the Western Cape – the richest concentration of biodiversity on the planet. By embracing this diversity, we can craft amazingly complex, delicious wines at unbelievably good value for money.
The resilience of diversity is so obvious. By sourcing from different vineyards, often just surviving in extreme conditions, the resultant wines are naturally layered and complex. Balance is achieved through carefully blending different varieties from different terroirs.
In South Africa you’ll find the oldest viticultural soils in the world, traceable back to the first super continent some 1 000 million years ago. The constant interplay between these ancient soils, soaring mountains, valley slopes and the coastal breezes from two encompassing oceans, results in a natural environment so diverse it is challenging to grow grapes here.
Most South African wine is grown in the Cape Floral Kingdom.One of six such plant kingdoms in the world, it is the smallest, yet richest, home to some 9 600 plant species – more than are found in the whole of the northern hemisphere. Table Mountain alone has more floral species than the entire United Kingdom. One of 34 recognised biodiversity hot spots – 70% of the plants found here are not found anywhere else on earth – the Cape Floral Kingdom is a world heritage site.
However, if embraced sensitively, the same varied climatic and soil conditions that result in this biodiversity, create a treasure trove of winemaking possibilities. The options are endless and the different flavour profiles of grapes grown in different regions of the Cape present inspiring opportunities to create magic through blending wines.
I have always tried to make wine that complements brilliant cuisine – wine that I can show with confidence alongside any food in the world, no matter how fine or exotic, no matter in which far-flung culture I find myself. But the real test for my winemaking is a braai (South Africa’s name for a BBQ) with my friends.
South Africa may be the miracle nation. We may have four Nobel Peace Laureates. We may have hosted the Soccer World Cup and been the rugby world champions. We may be the birthplace of the human species. Indeed, we may be the Promised Land for all I can tell.
But far, far more importantly, we are also the spiritual keepers of the oldest surviving human tradition – the braai. And as a South African winemaker, your wine better stand up to that gastronomic inheritance and responsibility.
“I have always tried to make wine that complements brilliant cuisine – wine that I can show with confidence alongside any food in the world, no matter how fine or exotic, no matter in which far-flung culture I find myself. But the real test for my winemaking is a braai with my friends.”
– BRUCE JACK –