Tomorrow (June 16), Vermentino wine will be auctioned. What makes this auction significant is that there will be an online bidding component available on the Ayama wine farm website. This is intended to give international bidders the opportunity to purchase some of the very first Vermentino wine to be grown and produced in South Africa.
Vermentino is a light-skinned wine grape that makes for a medium-full-bodied wine. It is common in Italy and widely grown in Sardinia, but not found in South Africa. The introduction of Vermentino into South Africa, from a Sardinian clone, is the brainchild of Ayama, the wine farm steered by Attilio and Michela Dalpiaz.
This Italian couple fell in love with the Western Cape and relocated to South Africa 14 years ago. Under their careful direction, Ayama has become a strong export brand that is much loved in Europe, Asia and the United States.
Attilio and Michela invited Italian agronomist Augusto Fabbro to come out to South Africa in 2007 to study their terroir. Ayama lies on the lower slopes of Perdeberg Mountain. The climate of the Voor Paardeberg region is particularly suited to Mediterranean-style wines, thus Vermentino was identified as the most likely candidate.
After six years of import permissions, quarantine approvals and propagation, the very first Vermentino vines could be planted at Ayama in 2014. Now, the fruits of those very first vines have been pressed into a maiden vintage. Further distinguishing this wine, is the fact that classical music was played in the wine cellar during the fermentation process.
This resulted in the “must” of the wine forming an unusual and beautiful pattern, images of which were used to inspire the distinctive label design of the wine bottle. The design features an embossed gold illustration on the front and gold sealing wax on the neck – both echo the delightful golden hue of the wine.
The Vermentino will be auctioned in lots containing bottles and cases of various sizes, and all of it will be sold on auction. Both the online and real-time auction will take place on tomorrow. The only differences between the two events being that Cape Town guests will be treated to a tasting of the rare new wine once the auction is over.