'No sulphites or preservatives added' wine, made using rooibos wood.
Audacia Wines of Stellenbosch, South Africa’s viniferous capital, is set to launch a world first – a unique ‘No Sulphites or Preservatives Added’ red wine created using indigenous Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) and Cyclopia genistoides (Honeybush) wood.
The wine, a merlot from the farm’s 2013 harvest, is the first of an exciting range to be made according to this method – the technology of which is exclusive to Audacia, which also owns the patent.
The use of indigenous wood in the wine making process provides wine drinkers with a unique-tasting alternative, free of traditional amounts of allergy-inducing preservatives.
The legal limit of sulphites allowed in South African table wines is 150mg/l, while the Audacia Merlot 2013 contains only 3 mg/l.
The breakthrough has enabled Audacia to substantially raise the bar in local wine making.
The innovative process also grants Van Niekerk the freedom of expression to make highly distinctive, uniquely South African wine, unlike anything currently available on the global wine stage.
A limited amount of this unique wine has been made as a first ‘ever’ release.
The wine will be sold online, via our website, as well as from our tasting room at R180 per bottle.
They will most probably only sell one or two bottles per customer on an availability allocation basis, due to the limited quantities of this premium product being available.
The Rooibos and Honeybush wood used in making the ‘No Sulphites or Preservatives Added’ Merlot 2013 is sourced from plants endemic to the Western Cape, meaning they only occur in this region.
They are part of the world-renowned Cape Floral Kingdom – A Unesco World Heritage Site and the world’s smallest, but richest plant biome.
Their wood is unique in that it contains high levels of antioxidants, no caffeine and low tannin levels, making it ideal for use in wine making - as both preservative and means of flavouring wine.
Audacia Wines is currently working closely with a team headed by Professor Wessel Du Toit from Stellenbosch University’s Department of Viticulture and Oenology, who is investigating oxidation in wine as part of his research portfolio.
Du Toit was first approached by Audacia Wines in November 2011 and asked to extend his research to include an investigation on the effect of the Fabaceae plant family species, of which Rooibos and Honeybush are part, for use as a potential sulphur replacement (or to lower the levels of SO2) in wine.
He has also been investigating the use of these plants’ wood material as an alternative to using oak wood derivatives (chips, staves, powder and liquid extracts) in the wine making process.
The exact composition and amount of antioxidants in the wood are also being examined.
To learn more about Audacia Wine’s ‘No Sulphites or Preservatives Added’ Merlot, visit the website here
Those interested in purchasing on line from Audacia will be allocated a quota according to availability.