Vermentino Italian varietal now grows in SA

Posted by Ondela Mlandu on 10 September 2018

When Italian couple Michela and Attilio Dalpiaz, owners of Ayama Wines left Northern Italy to enjoy a holiday with friends in South Africa, they had no idea they would immediately fall in love with the country, the people, the weather and the wine. In November 2014, they planted two hectares of the very first Vermentino grape varietal in South Africa, on the scenic slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, near Paarl.

Image supplied

This is the only wine farm in South Africa that currently grows this particular Italian grape and these are cultivated and hand harvested on the Ayama Slent Farm. If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc or Sémillon then you may well find this light-bodied wine with a complex flavour to your liking.

Image supplied

In Provence, France, Vermentino is known as rolle and is used in the region’s top-rated Rosé.

Here’s a list of few other countries (besides Italy) that grow Italian wine grapes:

1. Washington DC

The state’s ‘grape growing’ began in the 1850s in Walla Walla Valley by Italian immigrants. Among the 30 wine grape varieties grown in Washington DC, the wines are in a state of growth and discovery. Some new best zones are being planted according to the diverse soils and climates.

2. New Zealand

Climate has much to do with the success of Italian grapes in New Zealand. A number of Italian grapes grow well on hillsides and rich volcanic soil that the island nation has.

3. Australia

There are more than one hundred planted grape varieties in Australia. Australian winemakers are also known for experimenting with Italian grapes, as some winemakers in the country have an Italian heritage.

4. California

In the United States, Italian-born winery and winemaker names are quite the norm. Italians brought vine cuttings in the 1861, when millions of Italians immigrated to California and Canada. Today, the term ‘Cal-Ital’ is used to describe the various Italian grapes planted throughout California.


Also read: 5 enchanting Wellington wine estates