Those that attended the inaugural Publik Wine Fair last year will understand the fuss. Thirty of the most exciting young winemakers all pouring their latest wines in one unpretentious space in downtown Johannesburg.
There’s a mix of rock ‘n roll and hip hop tunes playing and not a blazer or suit in sight. The crowd is young, engaged and interested. You could be forgiven for thinking you’re at a craft beer event or a whisky tasting, but this is all about wine. Not just any wines though: handcrafted artisan wines made by a new generation of winemaker that has embraced the diversity and quality of South Africa’s winelands and combined it with a healthy disregard for tradition. They work with grape varieties most people haven’t heard of (How about some Palomino?) and many go out of their way to source fruit from extreme areas (Have you had a wine from Ceres Plateau yet?).
These are some of the winemakers that were recently in London for the New Wave South Africa wine event that esteemed wine writer and critic Jancis Robinson suggested was the ‘tasting of the year’ and had the trade buzzing.
Producers like Crystallum, Reenen Borman and FRAM are at the forefront of a movement that is bringing South African wines a new level of international interest and respect. We’ve always made good wines in South Africa, but now we’re making creative wines – and that attracts a different crowd. Publik wine bar opened its doors in 2013 and introduced people to these now revered wines for the first time. They’ve since expanded into a national distribution operation and opened their Rosebank wine bar in Johannesburg earlier this year. Publik Wine Fair is their annual showcase tasting and comes to Johannesburg on 16 November 2019.
What you need to know
Venue: Victoria Yards, 16 Viljoen St, Lorentzville, Johannesburg
Time: 12pm – 5pm
Tickets: R200 per person available online
There’ll be over 100 small-production wines to taste and the winemakers that made them will be there to pour and engage with guests. NOTE: Some of these wines are already sold out, so for these winemakers it’s genuinely about sharing their concept and connecting with the consumer. No tickets will be available at the door.