A brilliant accident: how Boplaas became a specialist in the Portuguese variety table wines.

Tinta Barocca made its way to Boplaas by pure chance and a fortunate accident or two.

The Boplaas patriarch, Oupa Danie Nel, returned from a visit to the Swartland in the late 70’s with his Chevy El Camino packed to the rafters with Pinotage and Shiraz. His neighbours duly finished off the Shiraz and there and then a decision was made to plant this variety on the farm.

However, it was later in part discovered by his son, current owner and cellar master, Carel Nel, while studying Oenology at Stellenbosch University, that his father’s vines were indeed Tinta Barocca and not the desired Shiraz. A trip to Portugal followed, where the Nels befriended many of the Douro’s top Port producers and learnt, amongst other things, the art of crafting fine fortifieds.

Margaux, taking over the reins in the cellar from her father, continued his passion for Port varietals and completed a Masters degree in Viticulture at Stellenbosch University, on the effects of the Klein Karoo’s terroir on Touriga Naçional.

The first varietal bottling of a table wine from Tinta Barocca at Boplaas dates back to the 1982 vintage and since then this hardy Portuguese grape has been a staple of the cellar’s range.