Released for Ayama Wines by Cobie van Oort at 083-556-3740
Michela Dalpiaz, Augusto Fabbro and Attilio Dalpiaz at the dinner.
A group of around sixty friends, clients, colleagues and media joined Michela and Attilio Dalpiaz, the Italian owners of Ayama Wines for a “Festa” on 13 November 2014 to celebrate their first decade in South Africa. On the same day everyone participated in a planting ceremony of the first-ever Vermentino grapes in South Africa.
This winery, situated in the up-and-coming Voor Perdeberg region of Paarl, is leading the way with this grape and has other exotic varietals to be planted in the pipeline as well.
“We decided on a clone from Sardinia after lots of deliberation with one of Italy’s best-known viticulturalists, Augusto Fabbro, who was present on the day to see his brainchild being reborn in a new country and led a formal tasting of some of Sardinia’s best examples of this varietal” explained Ayama winemaker Michela Dalpiaz.
“Vermentino is a perfect match for our terroir, which is hot and windy and features mostly clay soils with sandy areas from disintegrated granite. The berries and bunches are large and the grapes are late ripening, all of which fit in perfectly with the existing varietals on the farm and the harvesting schedule. I also know and love the varietal as it produces aromatic, white wines which can handle wood and gives you a beautifully powerful wine,” she says.
Attilio and Michela Dalpiaz with Giorgio Dalla Cia.
The wines tasted were Cala Reale – Sella & Mosca 2013(Vermentino Di Sardegna DOC), Canayli – Cantine di Gallura 2013 (Vermentino di Gallura DOCG SUPERIORE), Monteoro – Sella & Mosca 2013 (Vermintino Di Gallura DOCG Superiore) and Genesi – Cantine di Gallura 2013 (Vermentino Di Gallura DOG Superiore).
The consensus after the tasting was that this grape would perform well in South Africa, and well-known guest and winemaker Giorgio Dalla Cia summed it up by saying that once the vineyards have reached maturity, we could expect to see quality like the best from Sardinia. The styles ranged from easy-drinking, light and crisp with typical spiciness to more serious food wines which would handle ageing and offers enough complexity to titillate the taste buds.
The day ended off with dinner featuring a mix of the best of Italian and South African cuisine, live music and lively conversation and a selection of Ayama’s wines.