Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)
French Champagne with a South African touch
Megan Baadjies speaks to Carrol Boyes winemaker Hendrik Snyman
The Carrol Boyes brand is perhaps best tknown for its elegant designer home decor items. The brand has set itself apart in pushing boundaries with its designs, which have made it one of the most successful in the continent.
Diversification is the way of the future and we soon saw the brand venture into the wine industry.
Carrol Boyes Wines was jointly created by Boyes, her brother
John and his business partner Neels Barnardt, from Barnardt Boyes Wines.
Its wine collection includes MCC, rosé, chenin blanc, chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and the Fine Red
Blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petite verdot.
But it’s the news that it has released a sparkling wine that can legally be called Champagne that once again shows the brand is a serious player in the wine industry.
The limited edition Carrol Boyes Iconic Champagne
Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs 2006 is the new kid on the block and now you can sip a glass of French bubbly with a South African touch.
The imported Champagne label was officially approved by France’s Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne, the body that makes sure only wine brands which produce sparkling wine from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France, can give their wines that name.
While it may not be called a South African Champagne, this bubbly was certainly made for South Africans by a proud South African, with a little help from the French.
Boyes resident winemaker, Hendrik Snyman said: “Champagne can only be called Champagne when it is produced in the Champagne region of France.
“(This) is a collaboration between one of the most prestigious and luxurious products in the world and the fine art of Carrol Boyes.”
A decade of friendship between Snyman and the Charbau family, winemakers and owners of a third-generation family vineyard in France, resulted in the creation of a Champagne which is said to be a celebration of quality, style, excellence and authenticity.
Snyman, who started making wine in 2005, has worked in wine regions in the US, New Zealand, France and his native South Africa.
The local winemaker’s relationship with the Charbaut family created the opportunity to produce the new range.
Snyman lived with the family in 2007 and was taught the art of crafting authentic Champagne like the French.
After moving back to South Africa, Snyman produced methode cap classique (MCC) wines for which he received several accolades.
“The methods (for MCC and Champagne) are the same, but you work with different fruit, grown in different conditions,” he said.
“So the challenges regarding the characteristics of what the grapes offer vary quite drastically from our grapes here in South Africa. The same rules do not apply when it comes to the grapes themselves. The recipe is very similar, but the raw materials are worlds apart.”
The Champagne is produced with 100% chardonnay grapes grown in the Grand and Premier Cru vineyards of the Champagne region.
Once the grapes are picked, they are pressed and left on the lees for 11 years to ensure that there is an excellent balance between grape character and ageing.
The collaboration produced only 1 000 bottles, making the wine a limited edition.
When it comes to pairing your favourite bubbles with a meal, Snyman said this largely depended “on the Champagne itself”.
“I’ve had Champagne with almost any dish you can think of, including steak, lamb, curries, cheeses, deserts and it was amazing.
“But the best pairing with Champagne is a sunset or sunrise.”
And who can argue with that?
The limited edition Carrol Boyes Iconic Champagne is available online via www. carrolboyeswines.com and at the Carrol Boyes flagship store in Somerset West, Cape Town.