The name Sauvignon Blanc means ‘wild white’ as it once grew wild in the South of France—and now with vineyards on the edge of the Atlantic, wild white meets wild seas for a flavour profile utterly unique to the tip of Africa.
This perceived salinity tastes of fresh seaweed, a steely minerality, and the umami of kelp. The Bamboes Bay Sauvingon Blanc 2016 from Fryer’s Cove does all of this and more. It’s a wine I would travel to the edge of the world for—and in some ways I have. Fryer’s Cove Winery is located on the West Coast, approximately a four-hour drive from Cape Town to Doringbaai (Doring gone I joked on the way there…).
Doringbaai is a small town curled along the edges of the coast, with an amphitheatre of sky above, and a wild ocean below, the combination of which makes for kaleidoscopic sunsets. Fryer’s Cove is its castle. The winery and cellar are located on what was once a fish factory, with a tasting area and restaurant on its deck, and a jetty running into the ocean.They’ve used this proximity to the Atlantic to their benefit: by piping water through stainless steel pipes, cooling it in the frigid water and running it through the tanks of the winery to regulate temperatures.
The vineyard for the Bamboes Bay Sauvignon Blanc is located nearby, eponymously named; the Afrikaans ‘bamboes’ translates to ‘kelp’, and is an homage to its maritime location.
“It is truly mesmerising to work so close to the sea,” shares winemaker Derick Koegelenberg. “The scenery changes as the tides do. It’s easy to get drawn into the waves, sun, wind and vastness that you forget about everything—all you need is a glass of wine!” A perk of the job he says is that he often buys fresh fish from the jetty as the local fishermen pass by.
“Bamboes Bay is the smallest Wine of Origin in South Africa,” he tells me with pride.
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text: Malu Lambert