South Africa's wine regions find world-class potential with diverse, value-driven wines.
Its name comes from the Latin and means an arid, dry place of great purity, a fitting description of a wine from the Swartland Region of South Africa. Sequillo was formed around 2001 by both the Sadie Family and the Cornet Spies Family Trust, both longtime wine-related families with deep roots in South African wine circles. Winemaker and rising star Eben Sadie decided on utilizing Southern Rhône varietals in producing the first Sequillo wines from vines planted on 8 hectares (slightly over 19 ¾ acres) that are all organically farmed. As such, Sequillo wines are never refined or filtered and are as close to natural tasting as is possible.
Eben Sadie is himself an outspoken critic of wood barrels. He chooses to make his wines in cement vats and age them in a variety of ancient oak barrels at his winery. ‘I want to make wine,” he was recently quoted saying, ‘that tastes like wine and not wood.”
Whatever the approach, Sequillo has proved an instant success on the international wine scene with top competition marks and supportive endorsements from the international wine press. Not only does Sequillo represent a top emerging wine region but also one of the present and future stars of South African winemaking.
About one hour’s drive northeast from Capetown is the Swartland (who couldn’t love a place with a name like Swartland?) Region, often called the bread basket of South Africa for its seemingly endless acres of wheat. Swartland is perhaps the most emblematic example of the great growth in new South African wineries as growers and vintners seek to take advantage of its unique Mediterranean climate.
Swartland contains some excellent vineyard land, particularly along the banks of the Berg River where the mountain foothills provide some distinctive soil/climate conditions for producing exceptional grapes. Swartland is also a harbor for new growing techniques and biodynamic farming, a combination that has proven quite successful in many international growing venues. It is clear that the many emerging wineries and their extensive wine portfolios will eventually afford Swartland a seat at the table of great South African growing regions.
South Africa's Wine History
Anyone who keeps tabs on the rapid growth of the South African wine industry can tell you the country’s export progress is on the far side of amazing. Most of the country’s developmental aspect can be traced to the demise of South Africa’s constraining political mandate, Apartheid, which restricted export growth by its very nature. During its dominance, the South African wine industry was reduced to almost bystander status due to Apartheid’s negative global influence.
After Apartheid’s demise, the simple fact that South Africa’s lovely and diversified assortment of wines had been generally unavailable for many years fueled renewed interest from the international wine community. A new movement of contemporary wineries emerged in practically every wine growing region. In rapid fire sequence a large number of South Africa’s high quality wines were reinstated to the top rungs of international wine circles.
To show you the diversity level which some of these wines have achieved, a trio of extraordinary South African wines has been selected for this International Wine Club release. It is our pleasure to bring these important wines to your attention and enjoyment.