Boplaas Family Vineyards in Calitzdorp is renowned for its outstanding Cape Ports and table wines made from traditional Portuguese grape varieties. The extent of this excellence across its portfolio has been highlighted by the release of a report by the highly regarded Prescient Winemag tasting panel.
In a blind evaluation of “niche white varieties” for the panel’s Minority Report 2021, the Boplaas Cape Portuguese White Blend 2021 scored 90 points out of a 100. As such, it is in the running to be among the best wines of the year shown at the panel’s year-end show in Johannesburg and London.
The Cape Portuguese White Blend was the highest scorer against entries from the region and second in the Verdelho category overall. Although labelled as a blend, the Boplaas wine has been made completely from Verdelho of late as the quality of grapes outshone former components.
This white Portuguese variety is well suited to the Calitzdorp climate and is envisaged to become even more popular. The variety ripens early, may already be harvested in mid-January, and produces small berries and good, crisp acidity. In the glass, the Boplaas Cape Portuguese White Blend 2021 is an aromatic, medium-bodied wine. It shows a combination of tropical fruit flavours, citrus, yellow pear, granny smith apple, and lemon grass.
The wine makes an ideal aperitif or partner to fresh seafood – grilled cob, deep-fried calamari or a generous paella; aromatic Asian dishes; a Sunday roast chicken; grilled peri-peri chicken or al fresco dining.
In addition to the recognition from the Winemag team, the Boplaas Cape Portuguese White Blend 2021 is title holder as the Platter’s South African Wine Guide “hidden gem”. Its 2019 vintage was the first white wine to be included in the Top 10 of the Cape Port & Wine Challenge; and, was deemed “great value” by the Wine-of-the-Month Club.
Portuguese grapes generally thrive in the Calitzdorp region because they are hardier and well adapted to warmer climates. It is anticipated that they will play a bigger role as the effects of global warming increase.
Boplaas has been a first-hand witness of many of these changes, thanks to the long history of the Nel family that has farmed here since the late 19th century. The farm in its current form came into being in the 1980s when its wine cellar and vineyards were established, and it has been a pioneer of much of the winemaking advances across the region since.
Along with its Portuguese variety specialities, Boplaas produces a wide range of award-winning ports, still and sweet wines, bubblies, whiskies and brandies. All may be purchased from the winery, its visitor centre in Klein Brak on the Garden Route, or online at www.boplaas.co.za. Delivery is free of charge on purchases of R1 500 and more.