As anyone who knows me will tell you, I love me a glass of wine. I am especially fond of a big glass of Merlot, on a cold winters evening, in front of a crackling fire. But I am equally keen on a crisp white Chenin blanc on a hot summers day.
I am lucky enough to have a friend who owns a wine boutique, Life is Grape. This quaint little shop is located at 82 Main rd, Walmer in Port Elizabeth.
The wines, gins, and beers you will find there, are not your normal run of the mill items. They are especially curated for her boutique, and the selection is always changing. You know you will always find something special in store. She regularly hosts wine tastings, which really are great fun to attend. Perfect for date night, or even a girl’s night out.
Date night invite
My husband and I were invited to a DeWaal wine tasting a few weeks ago. What I love about these evenings, besides the wine, is the history of the farms and the various types of grapes. The wine always tastes better when there is a good story behind it.
Generations of wine makers
The DeWaal farm is home to the oldest Pinotage vineyard in the world. C.T. de Waal was the first person to ever make wine from Pinotage grapes. 9 generations of this family have been creating wines, 5 of them on the Uiterwyk farm, in Stellenbosch.
Experimenting with Pinotage
C.T. de Waal desperately wanted to become a winemaker. However back then, you had to be the owner of a farm with a cellar to be able to work as a winemaker. He was the second son, and his father was in no hurry to retire. His only option was to study wine making at the university of Stellenbosch. He later became a lecturer, and then worked in the Experimental cellar at the university.
In 1925, Prof Abraham Perold, a viticulturist at the university of Stellenbosch, created the Pinotage grape, by crossing Pinot Noir and Hermitage grapes. After 16 years, he had enough vines to create a wine. But he was in need of a winemaker! This is how C.T de Waal became the first winemaker to vinify Pinotage.
Top of the Hill
In 1950, Danie and Koffie de Waal planted The Top of the Hill block. Although this wasn’t the first Pinotage vineyard to be planted, it is the oldest in Existence. This vineyard has produced some fantastic wines, Top of The Hill Pinotage was a top 10 Pinotage award winner 6 times.
Stories like this, make going to a wine tasting so interesting. I have always had a passion for History, in fact it was one of the only subjects I excelled at in school. Once you know the history of the wine, it makes drinking it even more pleasurable.
Life is Grape is a gem of a shop. Pop in and browse the fantastic selection of wines, craft beers and gins. And definitely book a wine tasting, it really is a fun and informative evening out. Not to mention you get to taste some lovely wine! This venue is also great for corporate events.
Follow Life is Grape on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with their latest wine tastings and events.