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Wine news: First ever Vermentino plantings in SA go on auction

Vermentino is an Italian white grape variety.

by: Cathy Marston | 20 Jun 2017

The first ever plantings of the Vermentino grape variety were auctioned off for charity last week raising an astonishing R128 000 for a school in the Voor Paardeberg. Vermentino is an Italian white grape variety which generally makes dry white wines with good acidity and a medium to light body.

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It was planted by two Italian ex-pats, Michela and Attilio Dalpiaz, who relocated to South Africa 14 years ago, bought a wine farm and started making wines, mainly for export. After a successful few years of sales, they wanted to do something that would set them apart from other wine farms in the Cape and which would connect their new homeland with the culture and traditions of Italy.

They realised that the climate of the Voor Paardeberg region is particularly suited to Mediterranean style wines and thus Vermentino was identified as the most likely candidate. It then took 6 years of import permissions, quarantine approvals and propagation before the very first Vermentino vines could be planted at Ayama in 2014.

Only one hectare of vines was planted and the first vintage made in 2017. Because of its rarity, the Dalpiazs decided to sell the wine by auction. The Vermentino was auctioned in lots, comprising bottles and cases of various sizes and only 1500 litres went under the hammer in a variety of formats - 750ml bottles, 1500ml bottles, 3000ml bottles and 5000ml bottles. The combined digital and real-time auction raised R128,750.00 for the Perdjie School and the money will go towards a school bus, allowing even more children the opportunity to attend the school.

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