November 15, 2018
| On 4 weeks ago

Creating wines using indigenous South African wood.

One winemaker in the Western Cape is pioneering a new method of wine making.

The wine maker is using a plant normally associated with tea drinkers as a substitute for traditional preservatives.

Audacia wines in Stellenbosch have devised a new technique of preserving their wine the natural way using a famous South African plant

According to Trevor Strydom, Director of Audacia Wines. “We have created the wines using indigenous South African wood. We use indigenous Rooibos and Honeybush wood in the fermentation process. The wood has got so many antioxidants in it that we do not need to use any preservatives. So we don't use sulphur in the making of our wines.” Strydom went on to explain “this means that we can make wine where there are no preservatives added and people that are allergic to sulphur or don't like preservatives in a wine now have a preservative free option”

The technique involves placing large wire mesh bags containing the Rooibos and Honeybush into the wine vats that then ferments during the wine making process. This in turn changes the flavour profile and eliminates any unnatural chemicals and agents in the wine. Audacia now produces three red wine cultivars using the rooibos method.

Audacia have patented the method in 83 jurisdictions, with the aim of leveraging it is a solely locally made and marketable commodity.

Another marketable accomplishment for this new technique is that it has increasing appeal to organic wine drinkers. It's not just red wine from this Winery that's using rooibos in their fermentation processes.

Micro Breweries of beers and ciders have also begun to harness the preserving benefits of Rooibos in their products. Like the wine, beer is being produced placing the plant into the fermentation tanks and ciders are made using the plants leaves.

The producers claim that it definitely has an effect on the shelf life due to the antioxidants in the beer, with shelf life on ciders being extended to 2 years.

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is native to the Cederberg Mountains of Republic of South Africa. Despite efforts across the globe to grow rooibos, it still only grows in its homeland, South Africa. The history of rooibos goes back thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands of years. The San people, South Africa’s first-nation people, used it as a medicinal herb.

So more tea totalling, you can now enjoy a delicious glass of healthy sulphate free wine. Add some edible indigenous plants and we have a wonderful South African treat.