On Audacia we create a range of distinctive no sulphur added red wines. Our portfolio consists of wines made using an innovative patented new technique involving the use of indigenous South African tannins. 2014 saw the launch of our first Rooibos naturally preserved – no sulphur added wine made according to a globally patented breakthrough process.
Rooibos & Honeybush Naturally Preserved Wines
In 2014 Audacia launched the world’s first ever – Rooibos naturally preserved ‘No Sulphur Added’ red wine created by using indigenous Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and Honeybush (Cyclopia Genistoides) toasted wood chips. The wine, a merlot from the 2013 harvest, became the first of an exciting range of no sulphur added - Rooibos naturally preserved ‘healthier option’ wines, produced under patent licence to www.reddawnip.co.za a company of which Audacia is the founding shareholder.
The use of South African indigenous plant tannin in wine allows for the creation of a totally new and unique category of wine, not to be confused with wine made using imported woods and tannins (wood staves, chips and tannins powders). The discovery and use of Rooibos and Honeybush locally produced wine tannins enables wines natural preservation without the need of having to add sulphur as a chemical preservative. This innovative breakthrough which allows wine to be naturally preserved has enabled Audacia to substantially raise the bar when it comes to global winemaking. Audacia is now producing what it believes to be some of ‘the purest’ wines in the world, made within in the main only four natural ingredients; fermented grape juice, yeast and indigenous natural tannin, without the need to add other chemical additives, animal product and others as legislated.
1659 – Jan Van Riebeeck, the first Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, had an audacious plan to grow vines and produce wine in the Cape. His dream became a reality when he imported vine cuttings from Europe; on the 2nd of February 1659, he recorded in his journal how the first Cape wine was made.
1772 – Carl Thunberg, a Swedish naturalist visiting South Africa, noted that the Dutch settlers who had to rely on supply ships to bring them black tea from Europe. When running out of their imported black tea supplies would often substitute it by boiling a plant coming from the Cederberg region in the Western Cape, which they acquired from the indigenous people of the area. The settlers in the Cape embraced this locally made “tea”, which served as an alternative to black tea, which became known as Rooibos (Red Bush) tea and has since grown in popularity in both South Africa and throughout the world.
2011– 352 years after Jan van Riebeeck had planted vines at the Cape and 239 years after Carl Thunberg observed settlers making tea from Rooibos leaves, Trevor Strydom (Audacia owner), began searching for means to create a distinctive red wine with a truly “indigenous” twist.
This challenge led Trevor to an extensive search to find a local alternative to imported oak and other wood derivatives (chips, staves, powders) and imported tannins usually used in the winemaking process. After many months, the search was concluded when Trevor’s daughter, Sarah–Jane offered him a cup of invigorating Rooibos tea after a hard day in the cellar. This was Trevor’s “eureka” moment starting an ongoing journey of experimentation using both Rooibos and Honeybush plant wood and tannins which turned a dream into reality.
Natural Wine Preservation - Global Consumer Health Trends
Why is Audacia doing it? According to Euromonitor International, a world leader in strategy research for consumer markets, when it comes to ‘Wellness and Health’ the ‘FREE FROM’ trend was the undisputed winner at a global level in 2017. Worldwide wine production has lacked innovation and not followed global health and wellness trends. Audacia is now at the forefront of changing this paradigm with its ‘No Sulphur Added’ Rooibos naturally preserved wines.
What is Audacia ‘No sulphur added wine? No sulphur added - Rooibos naturally preserved wines are wines produced by using indigenous South African tannins extremely rich in unique antioxidants and polyphenols that have the ability to preserve wine naturally without the need to add sulphur as a chemical preservative whilst still maintaining the integrity of traditional wine.
Good for you! Our natural Audacia ‘No Sulphur Added – Vegan’ red wines are not only good for you they also have great flavours and consistent great quality.
To claim ‘No Sulphur Added’ wine! For a global wine producer to be able to claim ‘No Sulphur Added’ on a wine label the total Sulphur content of the wine must be below 10mg/L. All wines containing Sulphur levels greater than 10mg/L must have a health warning ‘CONTAINS SULPHITES’ on them, making consumers aware that Sulphur is present in the wine.
Global Wine Process Patent
A patent has been registered by Red Dawn (IP) Holdings to protect the innovation on a global basis. Red Dawn company purpose is to uplift and enhance the lives of South African farming communities who depend on the sustainable growth of the Rooibos and Honeybush industries, by being able to create added value to beverage products, see www.reddawnip.co.za for patent details and access to use.
Audacia is 23 hectares in size, with 16 hectares under vine. The vineyards can be found on predominantly south–facing slopes, ideal for cultivation since they are cooler than north–facing ones. These slopes vary from being as steep as 20% to almost 0% on the wide alluvial terrace. The defining feature of the farm is the Bonte River which created the valley and forms Audacia's southern boundary.
Malbec is a red wine grape variety. The grapes have an inky dark colour and robust tannins. Long known as one of the six grapes allowed to be used in the blend of red Bordeaux wines, French plantings of Malbec are found primarily in Cahors in the southwest region of France. It has been cultivated extensively under the name Côt in the Loire Valley as well as in the Midi region since the 1700s. Malbec has adapted well to local conditions with the wines having a unique aroma and taste and can work equally well as a cultivar wine, or blended with other red wine cultivars.
This cultivar is of French origin where it has been grown in the Medoc region for many years and is used principally in classic Bordeaux blends. The wine shows good colour and is tannin rich with good ageing potential. Petit Verdot is normally blended with other wines in small amounts to add tannin, colour and flavour. It is also useful in ‘stiffening’ the mid palate of Cabernet Sauvignon blends.
This cultivar is of French origin where it has been grown in the Côte de Rhône since the Roman period. Syrah (as it is called in its country of origin) is a dark–skinned grape variety. Syrah is grown in many countries and is primarily used to produce powerful red wines, which enjoy great popularity in the marketplace under the synonym, “Shiraz”.
Cabernet Franc is one of the major varieties of red wine grape grown in Bordeaux. It is mostly grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but is also vinified alone. The wine made from Cabernet Franc grapes resembles that of Cabernet Sauvignon but is softer and consumable at an earlier age. Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and the style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, and cassis, or sometimes violets.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most famous and widely recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in most major wine producing countries. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognised first through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Merlot – (pronounced: MERL–oh) is a red wine grape that is used in blends and as a varietal wine. Merlot–based wines usually have medium body with hints of berries, plums, and currants. Its softness and “fleshiness,” combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot an ideal grape to blend with the sterner, later–ripening Cabernet Sauvignon.
Roobernet is a red wine grape cultivar that was hybridised by Professor Orffer from the University of Stellenbosch. This cultivar was released for commercial production in 1990. It is a cross between Pontac and Cabernet Sauvignon, hence the red juice of the grapes (also found in Pontac). The wine characteristics resemble that of Cabernet Sauvignon.
The major types of soils found on Audacia are Estcourt, Tukulu and Dundee / Westleigh, all of which have excellent water retaining capacity which is vital in view of global warming predictions. Gone are the days when South African wine farmers would scorn colleagues 'anderkant die berg' (on the other side of the mountain) in warmer regions who were forced to irrigate their vines. Irrigation has become crucial to most modern wine farming operations to prevent excessive stress on the vines.
All Audacia vineyards were equipped with supplemental drip irrigation when the new vineyards were established with water supplied from the Theewaterskloof dam. The farm's own dam (filled by the Bonte River) is not just for the ducks which waddle around Audacia, but also provides water for irrigation and general farm use.
As the crow flies, Audacia is 20km from the cool waters of False Bay and lies at between 80m and 120m above sea level. This is relevant because of the influence of cool air moving inland from the cool ocean. The breeze is essential for cooling during South Africa's hot summers when it's vital that the grape vines don't get too hot and shut down photosynthesis. Think of it as natural air conditioning! Being located in a gentle valley is highly advantageous as Audacia is thus protected from strong storm winds which could potentially damage the vines at crucial stages of their growth.
Winter temperatures range between 4C and 15C while in summer the mercury rises to between 19C and a maximum of 34C.
The average rainfall is around 750mm, ample for Audacia's grape growing requirements – with supplemental irrigation used only when needed.
Audacia subscribes to the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) and is both registered and authorised by The Wine and Spirit Board as an accredited IPW producer. This programme entails the use of the latest information and technology to track all aspects of production – both in the vineyard and cellar – in order to guarantee environmentally friendly practices.
For more information, click on: http://www.swsa.co.za/