The word “Indaba” is Zulu for “a meeting of the minds,” or a traditional gathering of tribal leaders for sharing ideas. When we launched the brand in 1996, we decided to name it “Indaba” to celebrate of the then-recent democratization of South Africa and to embody the notion of ‘coming together’.
Wine, in general, is very much a lifestyle and one that innately brings people together. Where wine is present, people flock and knowledge and opinions are shared. It is here that the basics of human communication can be observed. Think about the last time you had a glass of wine with a friend. Surely, thoughts were relayed and insight was gained.
Whether enjoying a bottle during date night, saluting an achievement, finding refuge after a hard days work, or toasting around the table to the holidays, wine is best shared with others. This season, after opening that bottle of Indaba, we ask you to take notice of the relationships built and conversations held over that glass of wine.
The pumpkin craze is bigger and better than ever this year, with pumpkin flavored spices, sauces, dips and even chips. Walk down any grocery isle this season and there’s bound to be something pumpkin-related stocked on the shelves. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea (there is pumpkin tea!), it has become the unofficial flavor of fall and a fun one to experiment with and explore.
While some may go the in-your-face pumpkin route, we tend to opt for more subtle main courses that appeal to palates around the table. One of our favorites is pumpkin risotto; the dish warms our souls without overwhelming the senses. Its creamy texture washes down beautifully with a glass of Indaba Chardonnay, as the wine’s aromas of apple, honey and butterscotch bring us further immersed into the season. Chardonnay’s versatile profile also lends itself to a range of dishes in the pumpkin-sphere, from stews to sweets.
Indaba Mosaic is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend that winemaker Bruwer Raats artfully creates. Here he talks to us about how exactly he goes about choosing the grapes that will make up each year’s blend.
Happy Cabernet Day! Today is the global celebration of the Cabernet grape in all its forms – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet-dominated blends. Grab a bottle Indaba Mosaic and partake in the festivities. The 2013 vintage is comprised of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 9% Malbec, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc – truly a masterpiece.
The lobster roll: simple, fresh, melt-in-your-mouth, meaty goodness. If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying this delicacy, make it your mission this summer to find the best in town. There are, however, a number of ways that a lobster roll can be prepared, but we prefer ours with chunks of meat direct from the sea, mixed with a touch of mayo, laid upon a toasted hot dog roll, drizzled with butter, and topped with a squeeze of lemon and slices of celery.
When diving into a lobster roll, wash it down with a glass of Indaba Sauvignon Blanc. The wine’s acidity cuts nicely through the tender pieces of meat, while its citrus and herbal flavors play well with the salty water retained within the lobster. The experience will have you left with a mouthful of mind-tingling flavors.
Get ready to get in-your-face messy! With the unofficial kick-off to summer creeping up, thoughts of grilled foods and outdoor festivities are marinating in our minds. After the long winter, we’re ready to head outside and throw some meat and veggies on the ‘braai’ ( South African for barbecue.) Our pitmaster’s pick with BBQ fare, Indaba Mosaic.
This Cabernet Sauvignon dominated red blend – with a touch Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – will bring even more lipsmacking flavors and aromas to your chargrilled meal. The wine’s ripe and brawny berry fruit stand up to smoky rubs and tangy sauces accompanying pork and chicken, and its soft nature washes down sides of baked beans and potato salad with blue cheese and bacon. It’s the perfect Memorial Day weekend red, food-friendly and approachable, all without burning a hole in your pocket.
Sails in South Africa seemingly have an affinity for grapes, and in order to prevent infestations that can wreak havoc on vineyards, wine producers often rely on pesticides as a means to rid snails from their vineyards. Although this method may be a solution to the invasion, it can also damage the natural ecosystem in the vineyards.
In place of chemicals, we rely on native birds and insects to combat pests. Foraging ducks live off of pests like bugs and snails, and we are more than obliged to invite them into our vineyard rows to snack on any pests present. This system is both more effective and sustainable; the ducks are only interested in the snails, and the grapes and environment are left unspoiled by synthetic pesticides.
We sat down in our NYC office with Renier van Deventer to discuss wine, travel and future ambitions. Cape Classics awarded Renier the Indaba Scholarship in 2010 for an honors oenology program, a 1-year master’s degree at Stellenbosch University, South Africa that he successfully completed in 2011.
Where did your interest in wine develop? I’ve always had an interest in science, though originally it was geared towards the medical field. I started working at De Grendel Wines in South Africa as a side job while I studying for my undergraduate degree; there the “wine bug” bit me and I put medicine aside.
What’s the most interesting aspect of winemaking for you? All the smells and tastes of the earth. I used to walk through the herb gardens as a child and crush herbs just to smell and taste the differences. It’s in my nature to do that, and leads me to never want to stop tasting wines.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? I believe many in the winemaking industry have become too status driven. You can be good at what you do but it doesn’t mean you can’t stay humble. I would like to see more winemakers pay credit to nature for all it provides us.
What’s your ultimate goal? I always say I want to make wine and sell it myself. I want to create approachable and affordable wines and be out there marketing them. Winemaking doesn’t end when the juice is in the bottle. I also want my occupation to have philanthropic meaning outside of wine. Using Cape Classics for example, and being on the Indaba Scholarship, you made a huge difference in my life. I would like to work to that point where I am able to make such a difference in people’s lives.
What wine excites you the most? Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite. The acidity, freshness and crispness remind me of summer year round, and I’m a summer guy. There’s so much you can do with Sauvignon to create different styles, which is also why it goes with anything foodwise.