Italians always manage to add romance to whatever they do, and that includes winemaking. Attilio and Michela Dalpiaz of Ayama in the Voor-Paardeberg are no exceptions, having injected great appeal into their historic farm and fine wines that they produce on the lower slopes of the Paardeberg, itself a mountain that inspires beguiling stories.
Now they have added a South African first with the release of their maiden Vermentino, a limited edition of 1 500 litres, set to be sold by auction that will benefit a local farm school..
Vermentino is a wine with a long history, originally a Spanish cultlivar that made its way to Italy early last century where it was adopted with enthusiasm and much success, both on the mainland and on Sardinia - where it was elevated to DOCG status in 1997 It produces a medium to full-bodied wine, that sometimes offers flavours one would expect in a rosé.
It took the couple six years to import their Vermentino vines, get quarantine approval, and finally plant one hectare in 2014. The patterns on the label were inspired by those made by the must during fermentation, the result, Michela claims, of the classical music that serenaded the wine in the cellar at this state.
To mark the release of this special wine, a single vintage auction, both local and online, will take place on Youth Day, June 16 at the Roodebloem studios in Woodstock. The venue, a decommissioned historic church reminds one of many similar sites in Italy where beautiful churches also fulfil other roles – such as the world launch of Slow Food a couple of decades ago...
Perdjie school consists of a creche and after-school project started by Ayama and neighbouring farm Scali in the Voor-Paardeberg a few years ago. Close to 40 youngsters, children of farm workers, are cared for daily. Transport is difficult, and it is hoped to raise money to buy a school bus.
Ayama will donate all profits from proceeds of the Vermentino auction to this worthy cause, an apposite one for a Youth Day event.
See http://ayama.co.za/perdjie-school/ for more info.
There are just 40 seats reserved for members of the public who would like to attend this event. They cost R300, but readers who contact Ayama directly, identifying themselves as readers of this blog, can claim R100 discount, paying just R200 for their ticket. Either send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 869 8313.
After the bidding closes guests will be served drinks and canapés . Seats can also be booked through www.wine.co.za.
A new Mediterranean varietal to add to others being introduced to Cape vineyards is always a welcome achievement, and one presumes that Vermentino will be water-wise as well to suit our declining water reserves. Those who wish to bid online need to access the website http://ayamavermentino.com/.