Taste the sun

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Anyone looking to satisfy their sweet tooth with a dessert wine may be familiar with straw wine. Around the world, this wine is made in warmer climates with dry skies. The grapes need the higher temperatures for proper drying on straw mats and lack of rain to avoid mildew.

The result is an incredibly low-yield wine demanding special attention by the wine makers, offering rich tannins and concentrated dried fruit flavours. The time spent in oak impacts the level of spice and smoke, and the years of ageing increase the concentration while balancing the tannins.

Tierhoek Straw Wine entices from the first sniff to the long after taste. Made purely from old vine Chenin Blanc, it’s picked early then left to air-dry for two weeks. Fermented in old French oak barrels for up to six months, the result is an immense concentration of dried apricots and honey, while the equally concentrated acidity cuts through the sweetness to provide perfect balance. The warm flavour is slightly caramelised, vaguely resembling a delicious marmalade.

The beautiful Tierhoek Winery is situated at the Cederberg border in the Piekenierskloof Mountain peaks. Owned by Shelley and Tony Sandell, this is one of the oldest farms on the West Coast.

Priced at R170 ea, order the Straw wine from https://www.tierhoek.com/products