As a panel taster for South African Wine Magazine, a contributor to the highly respected Platter’s South African Wines Guide and a certified Master of Wine, Richard Kelley is one of the most respected authorities on South African wine in the world. Over three decades in the industry, this Cape Crusader has made a lot of friends throughout that great winemaking nation. Every time he visits the Cape, he pops in to see his buddies and rummage through their cellars, uncovering great wines that don’t quite fit in the winery’s portfolio, are deemed too experimental or that they plan to simply fill into big blends. On discovering these gems, Richard – going by his alter ego Rick – ‘liberates’ them, bottles them and sells them under the small-batch label The Liberator.
Vasco and the Explorers is an adventurous South African take on the Portuguese grape, Alvarinho – maybe better known by its Spanish name, Albariño. Vasco de Gama was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. The first expedition left Lisbon in 1497 and followed the route pioneered by earlier explorers along the Eastern coast of Africa, before heading south across the Equator. For over 3 months they sailed the open ocean before successfully making landfall once again on the African coast.
Da Gama never set out to colonise the Cape and neither is there evidence of him ever having populated the land with vines. But if he had, the complexion of South Africa's vineyards today would be influenced more by Iberian rather than French varieties.
Excellent aperitif, fresh and clean.
|Region||Coastal Region, South Africa
|Producer||Vasco & The Explorers|