South African wine accounts for less than 1% of all US imports today.
In my many years in the wine trade, rarely was South Africa a topic of discussion. In fact, in most import portfolios and sales pitches they were largely left out of the narrative. I assumed the lack of representation told the whole story, that it was a reflection of the quality of its production, its place in the industry. Then I took a trip to South Africa. I discovered a booming industry, incredibly passionate and skilled producers, and a warm community dedicated to crafting exceptional wines. My perspective was broadened profoundly and I was left with the question: Why was no one championing these wines?
Culture Wine Co. was founded to share the exciting changes taking place in the South African wine industry- largely spearheaded by a young generation of winemakers focused on clean natural wines as well as organic, biodynamic, and regenerative farming methods. They are producing vibrant, energetic Pinotage; a welcome change from the bombastic, high alcohol styles of the past. They’re crafting single-varietal wines from lesser known grapes like Fernao Pires, Colombar, and Palomino; which would have traditionally been lost in bulk co-op blends.
The current South African wine scene is innovative and energized, but what sets it apart from others is its collective dedication to fostering an open, inclusive wine culture. It is inspiring to witness the camaraderie, the willingness to share knowledge, and the support this community gives.
There are so many reasons to be excited about South African wine, and Culture Wine Co. is here to share those stories.
-Peter Andrews, Founder of Culture Wine Co.