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New World Wine Maker Blog


The world wide web is a weird, wonderful and as it turns out, wine-filled place to browse. There are a bunch of interesting reads when it comes to wine, so I chose to share a couple of gems.

If you are anything like me, at one stage or another you have wondered to yourself: “ What is the world’s most expensive wine sold directly from a winery?” Well, I have the answer…it is from the Australian winery Penfolds…the Penfolds 2004 Block 42. This little piggybank-breaker (or crusher) will put you $168 000 in the red or approximately R1 731 208 for us South African folks. Yes, there are more than six digits in that amount.

This beauty is sold in 750mL glass ampules, of which 12 is produced. This wine is produced from a single vineyard, from vines claimed to be the oldest continuously producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world. So obviously the biggest question is…what does R1 731 208 taste like? Research has proven that people’s perception of what a wine tastes like and whether they enjoy it or not, is influenced by the price of the wine. The exact same wine marked at a higher price than its retail value, is judged to be more enjoyable and pleasurable by consumers.

This could possibly be explained by the fact that our enjoyment of wine is not only influenced by the actual way our taste buds perceive it, but also by social context. This means that the simple fact that you are able to afford and at that very second enjoy something that very few people in the world will ever do, makes you enjoy your R1 731 208 glass ampule of wine even more. Another reason could be that we as humans are a suspect species. “Why is this so cheap? It must mean it is not as good as that more expensive one?” As a result, our brains have come to form an intrinsic link between price and quality, or in the case of wine, taste. Concomitantly, we use the price of a bottle (or ampule) of wine to anticipate whether it will be good or not. The psychologist Richard Wiseman purchased a variety of wines from his local supermarket, ranging in price from $5 to $50 champagne. In a double-blind taste test subjects were asked to identify the more expensive wine. Shockingly, the 600 participants could only select the more expensive wine 53% of the time. This percentage is even less for red wines.

Alas, we are also a pretentious bunch and as a result have a hard time deciding whether we like a wine or not…so we just let the price and peer pressure decide for us. So in the end it is all really simple…sip and swallow and decide if you like it or not, whether you paid R20 or R1 731 208 for it. As easy as that.

In the meantime, I will be here in the corner enjoying my very delicious bottle of wine that did not cost as much as a house, thank you very much. And I will be drinking it with the soothing, smooth sound of some music in the background. Why you might ask?

Just imagine the infinite number of sounds that your ear can hear, anything from 20 to 20 000 Hz. The human ear is capable of responding to the widest range of stimuli than any of the other senses. The amount of different textures and temperatures you can distinguish purely by the sense of touch. The human eye can distinguish perhaps as many as 10 million colours. In comparison to all your other senses and organs and their perception abilities, the tongue is quite embarrassingly crude in its simplicity. Five. That is how many different taste sensations your tongue is able to detect. Five.

The reality is that up to as much as 90% of what we perceive as taste, is in fact odour. Why else would that stupid cold and sniffles you walk around with make everything taste like cardboard? The aroma of a glass of wine prepares us for what is to come and whether it delivers or not is decided by the tasting experience as a whole…smell and taste.

A number of studies have shown the inadequacies of the tongue…wine critics confusing cheap and expensive wines, beer (unknowingly to the taster) laced with balsamic tastes better than the real thing and there is very little to distinguish between dog food and pate. Pedigree flavoured pate anyone? In a similar scenario, en experiment conducted by Frederic Brochet at the University of Bordeaux in 2001, wine experts were required to describe two glasses of wine, one red and one white. Of course the red wine was described in poetic language as having characters of “jamminess” and “crushed red fruit”. The catch? The two glasses contained exactly the same white wine, one ‘enhanced’ with red food colouring.

Because the tongue is so subpar in its ability, we require the input from other extrinsic factors, for instance colour, to help us make decisions (albeit misinformed at times). Another study by a group from the Heriot-Watt University, led by Adrian North, looked at the influence of background music being played on our perception of wine during a tasting. Two hundred and fifty students took part in the study, tasting a red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) and a white wine (Chardonnay). One control group drank the wine without any music playing, while separate groups tasted their wines listening to the following types of music (described in a previous study): powerful and heavy, subtle and refined, zingy and refreshing, with mellow and soft as the final category.

After the wine tasting, the participants were asked to describe the wine using the descriptors given to the different music categories they were listening to. It was found that the music had a consistent effect on how the students perceived the wine. They tended to describe their wine according to the qualities of the music playing during their tasting. The students rated the change in taste by up to 60% depending on the melody heard. Cabernet Sauvignon was most affected by ‘powerful and heavy’ music and Chardonnay by ‘zingy and refreshing’ sounds. The white wine was rated 40% more zingy and refreshing when that music was playing, but only 26% more mellow and soft when music in that category was heard. The red was altered 25% by mellow and fresh music, yet 60% by powerful and heavy music. The music sets up the brain to perceive the wine in a certain way. This is the same group that conducted the supermarket research where the findings suggested that people were five times more likely to buy French wines if accordion music was played in the background. If an oompah band was played, the German product outsold the French two to one. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika playing in international wineshops anyone?

It is important to realise that tasting a wine is an experience…a sum of all the physical (the wine actually hitting your taste buds) and all that your brain adds (the sound of the music playing, the price on the bottle, the colour of the label, the annoying squeak of the shopping trolley as you were purchasing the wine and the chatter from the sales lady about the terroir and vineyard soil type). All of this just goes to show that enjoying a glass of wine is not just about the glass of wine, but the friends and family you share it with and your favourite music playing in the background.


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Meet Gunter Schultz – Winemaker at Kleinood

Q. When and where were you born ?

“In Mowbray, Cape Town on 6th October 1974.” Then adds “ I was only a few months old when my dad started Beaumont Primary school in Somerset West so the family moved to Somerset West. I have four brothers and we all grew up in that delightful town.”

Q. Where did you study ? 

“Well I couldn’t make up my mind what to do so my Dad packed me off to the Army. Well that was a total waste of time. So I took a “gap year”. My brother was the winemaker at Hartenburg and so I ended up spending a lot of time with him.  With his influence and guidance I decided to enrol at Elsenburg in 1995. When I completed that at end of 1996 I went to work at Paardeberg Co-Op in 1997. I managed to fit in harvests in Australia, California and New Zealand.”

Q. Do you consider your approach to winemaking to be different to others ?

“Not sure about that but I base my winemaking solely on the vineyard and the seasonal changes.”

Q. How involved do you get in the vineyard ?

“Besides making the wine I am the viticulturist at Kleinood so I am totally involved.”

Q. Do you have any varieties you prefer to work with ? 

Without any hesitation “Syrah and Mourvedre.”

Q. Have you been influenced by any particular winemaker or region ?

With a friendly smile “My winemaking brothers Carl and Rudi.”

Q. What would you consider your greatest achievement in winemaking ?

With a big grin “Ten years of vintages at the same property !  I am finally getting to understand the property.”  After some reflection “2017 was my 22nd vintage.”

Q. What “secrets” have you “developed” that make your wines different to others ?

“I firmly believe that less is more ! I spend more time in the vineyard than in the winery.” After some thought “   

I guess meticulous care and handling. Our team inspects the vineyard from an aerial perspective and this allows us to do an infrared survey and determine vigour and ripeness in each block and pick each area accordingly.

Q. How important is modern winemaking equipment to you ? 

With a serious look “Very, I have some fancy toys in the winery and they simplify a very hands on operation.  All the machines we use save us time and ensure efficiency.”

Q. I am told that you met your wife-to-be and it was love at first sight ? 

He almost blushes and replies “It was during my second year at Elsenburg when I had been swimming with guys in the dam and was covered in mud when the sister of one of the guys, Juanita, now my wife, appeared and I declared that I would marry her !” “However marriage was still quite a while away.”

Q. Besides your wife and now kids you have another love in your life ? 

“Yes, surfing.  In 1998 I left for Australia and surfed until my visa expired !”

Q. And then ? 

“I had to get serious about working and started at Morgehof. Where, surprise, Juanita was also working. We actually got married in March 2001.  I worked at Waterford and was at Delaire when in 2007 I applied for and got the job at Kleinood and have been here ever since.

“I am still passionate about winemaking and surfing but have an extra passion in Juanita and our three kids.  I intend for things to stay that way till the end of my days.”

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Putting the Theory Behind the “Vinotype” to the Test with Science

By Becca Yaemans of The Academic Wino

The concept of wine and food pairing is one that is well ingrained in many people’s minds: red wine with red meat, white wine with fish, etc.  The idea is that the complexities of a specific wine will complement best with the composition of a specific type of food. For example, as Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein suggests in his book Perfect pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food, Cabernet Sauvignon works very well with red meats as the body and big tannins require fat and protein to balance out and harmonize with the wine.

There is another, more recent approach out there, Vinotyping, that effectively throws out the whole idea of one perfect wine pairing with one perfect food type and instead focuses on the consumer themselves, which is led by Master of Wine Tim Hanni. A play on the word “phenotype”, the Vinotype approach focuses on an individual’s own genetics and experiences, and categorizes that individual as one of four different Vinotypic classifications: sweet, hypersensitive, sensitive, and tolerant.

Stepping back a little bit to take a quick glance at the science behind the Vinotype concept, it helps to have a basic understanding of “genotypes” and “phenotypes”.  In the most simplistic terms, your genotype is basically your genetic code.  You get half your genes from mom, and half from your dad, and the combination of the two for any given trait is your genotype.  Phenotype, on the other hand, is this genotype in “real life”.  In other words, it’s the observable characteristics that you see based upon your genotype and interactions with the environment.

For the Vinotype theory, it focuses the phenotype on how it relates to wine and wine preferences.  As Hanni defines in his book Why You Like the Wines You Like, the “vinotype” is “the set of observable characteristics of a wine-imbibing individual resulting from the interaction of its genotypic sensory sensitivies in a wine-related environment”.  So, in other words, your vinotype is a combination of your genetics and your experiences with wine and other beverages, and the interaction between the two.

Putting Vinotyping to the Scientific Test

In a new study published in the International Journal of Wine Business Research, researchers from Michigan State University aimed to evaluate the Vinotype theory from a scientific perspective, by looking at any association between everyday food and beverage preferences to wine preferences, as well as whether one could predict what kinds of wines someone would like based upon their everyday food and beverage choices.

The Study Approach

To answer these questions, participants first completed a questionnaire to determine their food and beverage consumption habits as well as their preference.

Next, participants were invited to a reception where they would taste 12 different food and wine combinations at different stations. At each station, participants were asked to taste the wine and food items separately and to rate them separately.  Then, they were to rate their how much they liked or disliked the combination of the two items.

For the food and wine pairing stations, the researchers recruited some of their students to identify combinations they believed would be either well liked or disliked by most people (which they determined via investigations and research).

The reception lasted about 2 hours, with the total amount of wine and food consumed per participant adding up to about 530mL of wine (44mL pour per station) and a full meal of food (appetizer sized portion per station). Participants approached each station in random order, depending upon how busy a particular station was at the time.


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CHINA: Yes? No? Maybe?

If you are a winemaker that is looking to expand your export market, you would have been living under a rock if the land of rice and tea and more recently wine, have not crossed your mind.

Since the economic reforms of the 1980’s, wine consumption in China has grown dramatically. Despite only having a per capita consumption (per person/per year) of 1.5L (compared to a whopping 50L of the delightfully intoxicated French), with a population that is fast approaching 1.4 billion, China is ranked as the 5th largest consumer of wine. Not to be outnumbered by their thirst for wine, China is also the 5th largest producer of wine in the world, seeing an average 60% increase in production every five years.


In terms of wine preference, red is pretty much leading the race, with white wine consumption trailing considerably. The colour red itself is of great significance, being associated with prosperity, happiness and celebrations (compared to white usually reserved for mourning and funerals). There is also a significant correlation between the tannins found in red wines and those found in the number one beverage in China, tea. As a very health conscious nation, the health benefits associated with red wine also play an important role.

Current consumption methods of wine is quite appalling to any Western wine drinker. You think adding ice to a glass of wine is a major faux pas…consider this…wine in China is consumed in a ‘shooter’ like fashion, with the whole glass being consumed in one go after a toast. White wines served with Coca-Cola and red wines with Sprite are also common sites. Wine by the glass is still very much reserved for upmarket restaurants only. At the moment, there are two main market segments. The top wine segment consisting of very expensive red wines that are very popular amongst the rich and famous. On the other end, the lower entry level market is growing in popularity and consists of more easy-drinking, lower quality, cheaper wines. As far as the division between bulk and packaged wines for export to China goes, the figures for 2006-2011 are displayed in Figure 1. Packaged wine exports saw an immense increase of 1206%, compared to the 74% decrease in bulk wine exports. This is an indication of the maturing tastes of the Chinese consumer.

In terms of distribution, your importer could distribute your wine via a couple of channels (Figure 2). Most popular would be ‘on trade’ (wine is sold and consumed on the same premises) and ‘off trade’ locations.

So, the biggest question remains: should you or should you not export to China? What follows below are three lists consisting of factors that make exporting to China a good idea, a bad idea or an ugly idea.

The heck to the NO list…

  1. French wine accounts for 50% of the wine imported into China. This is followed by countries such as Australia, Spain, Chile, Italy and the USA. South Africa will have to do considerable work to rank amongst these countries.
  2. The Chinese culture is well-known for their ability to copy…anything…and wine is no exception. Counterfeits of your wine is a very real threat to your brand and your reputation.
  3. Trademark squatters are individuals who register well-known foreign brands. Upon entering the country with your brand that have already been registered, you have some options (all of which will burn a considerable hole in your wallet): buy back your trademark, rebrand to create a new trademark or negotiate for the right to use your own trademark. Unfortunately, a ‘first to file, wins’ attitude exists in China, making this a challenge.
  4. It is still very expensive to export to China. Think 14% customs tariff, 17% VAT and 10% consumption tax. There are current trade agreements taking place between South Africa and China, but these are still very much under construction.
  5. China is enforcing a much stricter inspection policy. Wine arriving in China will now be scrutinised for three major parameters: alcohol, sugar and metal concentrations. Wines have to have an alcohol content of within 0.5% as printed on the label. The sugar content has to correlate with the type of wine your importer has registered your wine as (dry, sweet etc.) and thee main metal concentrations have to be within specification: copper (< 1 mg/L), manganese (<2 mg/L) and iron (<8 mg/L). If it is rejected on the basis of one of these analysis, the wine will either be destroyed or sent back at your expense, so test everything before it leaves the country.
  6. General challenges of exporting to China include a lack of transparency, unreliable information, the handful of giants that control the local wine industry, consumer and cultural differences, as well as the added logistical challenges of distribution.
  7. The local production could address the growing demand for wine. Take into consideration that the local workforce consists of over 80 million. The arable land covers more than 1.4 million kilometres. China is a country with a large number of modern business leaders, no shortage of technological knowledge and ability, as well as massive capital inputs.

The MAYBE this is a good idea list…

  1. Red wine consumption outnumbers that of white wine by 85% versus 15%, respectively. Because female wine consumption is on the increase, this ratio could shift in favour of white wines and present possible new target markets.
  2. Wine in China is very much a French affair. Wine is synonymous with France for most consumers. Changing this perception will be challenging.
  3. Trademark squatters is a real threat. Make sure legislation is on your side.
  4. The local Chinese wine production is still accounting for 80% of wine consumption in China.
  5. With the austerity program in place, lavish spending is being decreased.
  6. There will be a natural cooling down period in consumption. The growth percentage of 143.3% from 2008 to 2012 is predicted to decrease to a more moderate 33.8% from now till 2017. This is still a hefty number considering the population size.
  7. Growth will more likely happen in the middle and lower class wine sectors.
  8. Because the Chinese wine consumer is such a newbie to the world of wine, considerable education will be required.
  9. The increased volume and value of Chinese wine imports will also experience a natural cooling down period.

The YES, let’s do this list…

  1. China is a growing country, not just with regards to population size: the wine industry, per capita consumption and wine sales are all on the increase.
  2. Only one in every five bottles of wine consumed, is imported.
  3. The Chinese consumer is becoming more mature in their tastes and preferences. This means that they are spending more money and even moving into the sparkling, white and rosé wine sectors.
  4. The Chinese government has launched an austerity program in order to cut down on lavish spending (including those fancy, very expensive bottles of red wines served at banquets). This has forced importers and distributors in search for other markets to explore.
  5. The total worldwide wine consumption is growing and this future growth is going to be driven by Asian and American markets.
  6. Imports to China are still growing in volume and value.
  7. The most important role-player in the Chinese wine industry is THE CHINESE WINE CONSUMER. They are open and enthusiastic and with an ever-increasing love for the Western culture, including wine. The modern Chinese consumer is earning more money, buying more and willing to spend money on better quality goods. These consumers are becoming more aware of wine and the associated health benefits, especially compared to traditional and local high alcohol drinks. Because they are travelling abroad more often, they are experiencing wines in a more global manner and would like to be able to have similar experiences in their home country once they return. They are interested in the Western lifestyle and luxury and this is what wine represents; it is seen as a symbol of: an urban lifestyle, sophistication and social status.
  8. China is well-known for their so-called trademark squatters and counterfeited wines, but changes in Chinese legislation and government intervention have started addressing these issues.

So you have decided to export to China…now what?


The Chinese prefer smooth, medium-bodied red wines that are fruity and not too acidic. Popular cultivars include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In summer months, with the warmer weather, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc become more popular.


The modern Chinese wine consumer lives in the city and are young coming from wealthy families. Fifty percent of consumers are 25-44 years old and educated. They see wine as a product of culture and luxury and a sign of popularity and reputation. Wealthy female consumers are on the increase and they are more willing to pay for their favourite items. So if you can cater for the female tastes, you will grow your sales. The Chinese are a face saving nation. You have to make them feel comfortable with their (lack of) wine knowledge and their choice of wine. Use your packaging wisely to tell of the origin of the wine and as an indication of the price. Focus on the individual consumer and the younger generation.


Ideally, your Chinese importer and distributor should be China-based, preferably in one of the larger cities and specialise in wine distribution. You require a distributor with the necessary qualifications in order to import and sell wine. Trust is an important factor in order to successfully conduct business in China. these relationships take time to establish and ideally you should be introduced or recommended by a mutual acquaintance.  Your distributor should sell a good product for a specific market, have a good network in place and be dynamic. Keep in mind that your distributor will require assistance from both entities involved in the exporting and importing of your wine.

Some pointers…

  1. You will have to educate the importer and consumers about your country, your wine, your brand and your story.
  2. Present different wines in different price categories to avoid product conflict for your distributor.
  3. Visit China. Often. You will require hands-on, pro-active marketing on ground level.
  4. Make an effort to understand the cultural differences. To build dynamic, long-lasting business relationships require respect, patience, trust, communication and an idea of social etiquette.
  5. Make all your marketing material available in Chinese, including websites. Have lots of pictures and information on your history and family.
  6. To enter the market, stick to red wine, cork closures and classic French packaging.
  7. Keep in mind that we have some major selling points as a South African brand: two indigenous  cultivars, Chenin blanc and Pinotage, as well as the winelands as a major tourist destination. Think Brand South Africa. Some institutions that could help, include: The Department of Trade and Industry 9TDI), Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA), Department of Tourism, Wesgro and WOSA.
  8. Register your trademark and do an online search of registered trademarks in existence in the Chinese market.
  9. Analyse your wine before it leaves the country.
  10. Keep in mind that the Asian marker means more than just China, think Hong Kong, Vietnam etc.
  11. We have wines with big, bold aromas and flavours, perfect for going up against the spicy cuisine of the Chinese. Keep this in mind when planning promotional/marketing dinners and/or events.
  12. A handy website filled with people who have been there, done that and got the T-shirt:

These are only a number of factors to take into consideration when making the decision of whether to dip a toe in the Chinese wine market or to make a splash.

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Vegan wine: Do the yeast count?

By Erika Szymanski of the Winoscope

The vegan wine conversation usually goes like this:

“So, I’m looking for a vegan wine…”

“Wait; isn’t all wine vegan?”

“Dude, no. A lot of wine is clarified using egg whites, or gelatin, or a milk protein called casein, or this stuff from fish bladders called isinglass. Wine isn’t just fermented grapes, you know. Winemakers can use a bunch of other stuff for processing steps, and they often don’t have to put it on the label.”

“Wow. I never knew that. I don’t want animal products in my wine! So, are any wines really vegan?”

“Yes! Not all winemakers use those products. Some use a kind of powdered clay called bentonite, and some just let the wine sit for a longer time so the particles settle out by gravity. But all of that isn’t always on the label, so you have to look kind of carefully for “vegan friendly” or “no animal products” or “fined with bentonite” on the label or something like that. Some big brands, like Bonny Doon, are known for making only vegan wine, so that makes things a little easier.”

That whole dialogue sidesteps a crucial question: what counts as an animal? And what counts as exploiting it? Talking about whether wine is vegan, in other words, should sound more like talking about whether honey is vegan. Do the bees count? Do the yeast count? Are they being exploited?

A Slate article about the vegan honey question way back in 2008 makes the central point: “any vegan who eats honey but avoids milk is making the tacit assumption that the pain experienced by a bee counts for something less than the pain experienced by a cow.” From caring about bees, it’s a short and slippery slope to caring about silkworms, or yeast or, heck, plants. And then where does that put the conscientious vegan?

Ways of stopping that slide – and not expiring for want of ethically acceptable calories – generally fall into three tracks:

Pain – The “I’ll eat things that don’t feel pain” argument which, troublesomely, requires deciding what can feel pain. Assuming that scientists understand the basics of how pain works, yeast don’t have a nervous system equipped to feel pain. However, both yeast and plants can respond intelligently to their environments and will activate stress responses following damage or when deprived of enough food and water. I often hear microbiologists talk about their yeast being unhappy. On the one hand, they’re being metaphorical; on the other, they know their yeast uncommonly well and recognize their distress signals …



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Reputation: Taylor Swift vs. Chenin blanc

In my fourth and final year of university studying winemaking one of the topics discussed frequently in class has been the future of wine in South Africa and particularly the identity we need to establish in order to firmly place ourselves amongst of the most reputable wine exporters. One of the problems identified as being the speed bump for South Africa has been the lack of identity amongst our wines, particularly with that of Chenin blanc.

The most widely planted cultivar in South Africa, for better or for worse, is Chenin blanc. The problem comes in with the plethora of wine styles Chenin is subject to. Clean-cut and fruity wines are set next to wild-ferment wines next to overripe, orange wines and the consumer (apparently) is confused by the ever changing identity. Thus, Chenin is left with a murky reputation. Not bad but not good and definitely not consistent.

Recently I’ve been trying to describe this phenomenon to my non-wine drinking friends and explain why this lack of identity is seen as a problem, at least by some members of industry. When I began talking through my personal plan of action I stumbled across the perfect metaphor. Chenin blanc is South Africa needs to become Taylor Swift.

Now, bear with me here. I realise not everyone is a T-Swizzle fan and that’s okay. But no one can deny that the singer-songwriter has an eye for publicity and damn, if she doesn’t have a reputation then I don’t know who does.

At the start of her career Tay Swift was the squeaky clean country singer from Nashville. She wrote pining love songs about first boyfriends and soul mates. She established herself as the good girl and started gaining her fan base. Now, this is where Chenin needs to start taking notes. Not everyone liked the squeaky clean Taylor and she was often mocked for being the goody-goody girl but she still sold 8.1 million copies of her second album across the world. Success was no stranger. Now, if Chenin can adopt this same persona some magic could happen. South Africa needs to produce the squeaky clean, good girl Chenin with crisp citrus and stone fruits to attract its fan base. The wholesome, simple wine with a fixed reputation. Everyone who hears Chenin (much like early Taylor Swift) knows exactly what to expect and either hates it or loves it.

This feat is by no means simple or easy. Chenin will be rebuffed by the Khanye-Cabernets and will constantly be told they will never be good as Beyoncé. A very unfair accusation; Beyoncé and Taylor are completely different artists. It would be like comparing Chenin blanc to Sauvignon blanc.

Once Chenin has done that it can start developing its reputation. Taylor is infamous for her numerous boyfriends who all seemed to be “the one” and all ended up leaving her broken hearted and armed with new writing materials. These boyfriends or “pairings” if you will can also help Chenin. The best way to elevate a wine from the average table wine to the blockbuster wine used at weddings and award shows (two places where Taylor Swift is also often associated) is to establish a good food and wine repertoire. The clean cut Chenin has an array of food pairings from cheesy brie (Taylor Lautner) to the herby meat dishes (Joe Jonas) and more.

So now we have the established Chenin/Taylor with a loving fan base and impressive reputation. Love it or hate it; it’s here to stay. This is where the fun can begin. As Taylor entered the world of pop and sass, Chenin can enter into other wine styles as well. No longer clean, innocent and fruit-driven it can become edgy, full bodied and powerful. It’s time to get out of the woods, shake it off and fill in the blank space in the wine rack. During the 1989 album era of Taylor Swift she started to appeal to a new crowd of people without losing her original fan base. Chenin is no different; it starts off in one style but can then jump across to another. From clean citrus fruit to woody and spicy, it will attract a new crowd of wine drinkers to revel in its versatility. And one day, Chenin blanc can dabble in the often orange wine exports, just as Swift started rapping.

If Taylor Swift could overcome adversity (another valid point with the South African wine industry, there’s always a Kim with their snapchat stories exposing the South African working condition and deterring sales), jump genres and cement her reputation in the music industry then Chenin can do so in the wine industry. Maybe it just needs to have its heart broken a couple times…

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