5 strong women’s wines for Women’s Day

It's Women's Day tomorrow and time to toast yourself and fellow women while celebrating these 'strong women wines'.

by: Cathy Marston | 06 Aug 2013
wine women's day

As a winelover, I can’t think of any better way to be remembered than with a bottle of the good stuff.

I’d like to have a tasting note about me which would read something like this “Fresh & fruity with plenty of body".

A rich melting pot of flavours and tastes with some quirky spicy whiffs on the side, steely backbone and excellent length” and I think I’d like to be a red Bordeaux blend  – maybe with some sneaky Shiraz on the side.

Obviously I need to do something amazing before I get commemorated with a wine, but in the meantime and in the spirit of Women’s Day, here are 5 ladies who have already been immortalised in a bottle.

All prices from Wine Concepts unless noted.

Nederburg ‘The Beautiful Lady’ Gewurztraminer 2012 
R95 from the farm

This wine commemorates Ilse Graue, wife of Johan Graue who was one of the original owners of Nederburg. When she arrived from Germany with her husband to take over the estate, it was very run-down and Ilse was responsible for the renovations plus establishing the lovely rose gardens outside.

This wine was created with the gardens in mind – it’s full of delicious rose petals and litchis with a lovely restrained elegance and gentle sweetness. Amazing with Thai food.

Steenberg Catharina Red 2009  R227.50

Oh boy, if ever a lady deserved the title ‘feisty’ it was Catharina Ras, the original owner of Steenberg.

During her lifetime she put up with a series of husbands who clearly couldn’t handle the pace of this dynamic lady who was granted the original farm under her own name, something highly unusual in the seventeenth century.

She planted the farm, put up with her husbands’ philandering and raised a brood of wild children ‘resembling Brazilian cannibals!’ Nevertheless, the wine chosen to represent her is an elegant affair – for the first time a 3-way Bordeaux blend offering plenty of spice, character & charm.   

Thelema Ed’s Reserve Chardonnay 2012
  R100 from the farm

This wine will always have a place in my heart as it was the first wine I drank after becoming a mother – and after 7.5 months abstinence, I tell you, it tasted fabulous!

Thelema has always been a staunchly family affair and co-owner Ed (Edna) McClean was for many years the life and soul of the tasting room, enthusing all with her personality and love of wine.

This Chardonnay is quite unlike any others – it comes from one particular clone and is always distinctive for its perfumed, muscat-y aromas and flavours. Truly delicious, slightly quirky, full of personality – apparently it’s Ed to a T!

Muratie Ansela van der Caab 2009  R215

A sad tale here, but one which ultimately celebrates one woman’s determination to live a full, free life with the man she loved.

Ansela was a slave at the Castle in the seventeenth century who fell in love with a Dutch soldier.

For nearly 40 years, Ansela remained enslaved until eventually she was baptised, got married and moved to Muratie to take her rightful place alongside her husband as owner of the farm.

This wine is made in her memory and is a wonderful Cab Franc-dominated Bordeaux blend full of lush black fruits with spicy twists.

Catherine Marshall Wines Nine Barrels Pinot Noir Reserve 2011  R217

This wine is a little bit different in that the woman we are celebrating here is also the winemaker. But why shouldn’t we celebrate someone like Cathy Marshall when you think of all she has achieved?

The original garagiste winemaker in SA, maker of several 5* Platter wines over the years and the first (and possibly still the only) female wine brand in SA – I think she totally rocks and all of this done in the nicest, most humble and most authentic fashion possible.

Try this smoky, earthy, elegant Pinot Noir – or indeed any of the range – and raise a glass to SA’s first lady of wine!

Read more on: wine  |  women's day

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