A new wine supplier launched this month, with the vow of becoming a supplier with a difference. Forget your stuffy tasting notes that baffle more than explain, Cape London are revolutionising how wine is bought in the capital and beyond.
For a start – alongside the traditional tasting notes, there’s a simple explanation written in a language everyone can understand – from the discerning connoisseur to the amateur grape lover. So as you search through the spangly new site, on the lookout for a vino for that perfect occasion, you can make an educated decision based on information from people who really know, and really care.
For example – of a best-selling Sauvignon Blanc from Corder Family Wines, you read Tasting Notes which describe ‘Pronounced floral notes, with zesty lime, tarragon and green figs, plus a touch of minerality. Fresh, well-balanced acidity, tangy and rich, giving a clean, fresh and vibrant finish. Enjoy now, or let mature for at least four years.’ But there’s also a We Say section advising ‘If you find many traditional Sauvignons too fruity and bold, then this fabulous wine is the one for you. Subtle, clean and fresh and just wonderful with chicken and salads.’ How refreshing!
But the thing that really sets Cape London apart is the stories behind the wines. Each producer they stock has a story to tell behind their product, ranging from inspiring, to humorous, to the downright weird.
The most impactful story comes from the pioneer products from Women In Wine, a collective of South African woman who, following the fall of Apartheid, joined forces to create the first ever female-owned vineyard in the country. It was the first wine producing company owned, controlled and managed by women and opened the portals, for the first time, to a large number of women to participate in the economic fruits of the South African wine industry. The women, mostly of black origin, started small and now supply worldwide, but Cape London is the only place you can buy their wines in the UK.
Beverly Farmer, a founder member and the CEO of Women in Wine, says: “To date women have made a significant contribution to the Cape’s wine industry without receiving recognition or benefiting from the industry’s business opportunities. In order to achieve our vision of contributing to the transformation of the South African wine industry we have had to come up with creative solutions that break with traditional perceptions that to produce excellent wines you have to have land, vineyards, cellars and a big company for exports.”
The Women in Wine labelled drinks themselves are delectable, and what a great bonus knowing that buy buying their products you are helping empower an entire community of women that just a generation or two ago may not have been able to walk down the street alone, and were barred from areas their families had built their heritage for hundreds of years.
Other wines sold exclusively by Cape London include a sparkling champagne-like drink, drunk by the Obama’s to celebrate his election as President of America in 2008, and a dessert wine favoured by heroes and heroines in Jane Austin and Charles Dickens novels!
Cape London launched this month and offers a vast range of products from South Africa, but has plans to soon expand into supplying from the Portuguese and Spanish regions, and then beyond and across the rest of Europe, and the world.