Boplaas Family Vineyards has received the coveted title of Port Wine of the Year in the latest edition of the Platter’s South African Wine Guide. The winery was also awarded its 19th five-star rating from the highly regarded publication, printed since 1980.

The latest edition of the guide was unveiled in Cape Town on Friday at a gathering of South Africa’s top wineries. When the colour of the guide was revealed by its publisher as resembling the night sky of the Karoo – the very region that’s home to the small, family-owned enterprise in Calitzdorp – Boplaas’ star no doubt shone a little brighter. But more than this, news of a great achievement awaited.  This 40th anniversary edition of Platter’s features a total of 125 wines and one brandy that received the envied five-star rating. Among them was the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2017, which also shares the title of Port of the Year with Upland winery in Wellington.

As with many of its predecessors, the 2017 vintage is no stranger to the winner’s podium. It received a rating of 95/100 from UK Master of Wine Tim Atkin, a Gold medal at Veritas; Platinum at Michelangelo and, Double Platinum at the NWC/SA Top 100 competition.

The wine was crafted from four old vine Portuguese varieties – Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barocca, Touriga Franca and Souzão. The fruit was hand-harvested at optimal ripeness. Fermentation took place in traditional open fermenting tanks with intense manual punching down to extract optimal flavour, colour and tannins. It was then fortified and matured for two years in old, large-format French oak barrels before being bottled, un-fined and unfiltered.

Portuguese grape varieties thrive in the Calitzdorp region because they are hardier and well-adapted to warmer climates. It is anticipated that they’ll play a bigger role as global warming increases. To this end, a potentially landmark vote has seen Touriga Nacional approved for Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superior appellation wines as part of efforts by the industry in France to adjust to climate change.

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Photo caption: Carel & Jeanne Nel from Boplaas

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