This reappraisal has resulted in a yearly event dubbed “The Swartland Revolution” where hundreds of wine enthusiasts gather in the town of Riebeek West for a weekend of lectures, wine tastings and good local food.
Chris and Andrea Mullineux of Mullineux Family Wines are at the forefront of this revolution and re-evaluation of the Swartland region. Andrea grew up in San Francisco and it was here that her passion for wine started. After completing her degree in Viticulture and Oenology at the University of California, she worked at various wineries in the Napa Valley not far from her home town.
Keen to learn more, she left her native country and travelled to the Cape where she did a stint at Waterford winery in Stellenbosch before heading to France to work at Mont Redon in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
It was while in France she met Chris at a Champagne Festival. Chris is a local lad, born in Cape Town and his introduction to the world of wine was while studying accountancy at the University of Stellenbosch. Completing his accounting degree he went on to do a second degree in winemaking.
Chris went on to work at a boutique winery in Tulbagh and later did some stints in France and California. He encouraged Andrea to come back to the Cape and they later married and settled down in Riebeek Kasteel where they started Mullineux Family Wines.
Since bottling their first wines in 2008 their wines have achieved almost instant success and in the 2012 John Platter guide three of their five wines received five stars with the other two a commendable four stars.
Our wine choice for this week is in fact two of Chris and Andrea’s delicious easy drinking wines under the name "Kloof Street" — the street where their winery is situated in Riebeek Kasteel.
The white is made from selected Chenin Blanc grapes from three different vineyards in the Swartland and mostly from 40-year-old bush vines. The wine is pale straw in colour with fresh apple and peach aromas leading to a ripe and rich savoury spicy palate with minerally texture which begs it to be enjoyed with food.
The red is a happy mix of Southern Rhone varieties (73 percent Syrah, 12 percent Mourvedre, eight percent Cinsault, four percent Carignan and two percent Grenache) sourced from six vineyards where the vines range from being 12 to 40 years old.
After fermentation the wine was matured in third and fourth fill barrels for 11 months prior to bottling.
Velvety red colour with enticing aromas of mulberry fruit guiding you to the spicy savoury palate packed with juicy black fruit flavour balanced with mineral finesse.