The Carménère grape is originally from the Medoc region in Bordeaux, France and is often used in blending, very much like Petit Verdot. These days it has found a home in Chile where the terroir seems friendly to it. It has an intense deep red colour – hence the name – and has deep dark red berry flavours with a touch of spice. Think Shiraz with some Merlot.
At this time it is not much used here in SA but there is a farm in the Bonnievale area where they have fallen in love with it. As far as I am aware this is the first of its kind in South Africa.
You also might like: Stellenbosch Hills has a lot to offer wine lovers
Carménère grape makes its way to SA
The Smuts family’s origins extend as far as Lucerne, Switzerland. They named their wines Lozärn, the Swiss-German translation for Lucerne, as a tribute to their heritage.
Based in Doornbosch, the Smuts family makes a single vineyard classic Carménère red, a Carménère rosé, and one they call Kay’s Legacy. The range also has an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc which received a Gold at the Michelangelo Awards. The winemaker Salome Buys-Vermeulen has her hand firmly on the till and will go from strength to strength with wines like this coming from Lozärn.
You also might like: Curious Wine Spots You Must Explore in Cape Town
The wines are available at Carolines and Wine Concepts, among other suppliers. To find out more about the Smuts family origins, visit the Lozärn website.
Words Greg Landman
A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.