“The breathtakingly beautiful Cape Winelands are spread over a relatively small area, but the biodiversity of its winegrowing sites ensures that the area can produce an extensive range of wines to excite wine lovers the world over.” Join award-winning authors Elmari Swart and Izak Smit for an enchanting and insightful journey through vineyards, terroir, winemaking techniques and wine styles of South Africa’s greatest wines.
Wine connoisseurs Elmari Swart and Izak Smit share a passion for fine wines as well as excellence in the art of writing. Together they identified a need for greater depth in South African wine writing and, in true entrepreneurial spirit, formed a unique partnership to write The Essential Guide to South African Wines – Terroir and Travel.
Their vision for the publication was to highlight terroir wines (wines from a specific origin), to give insight into winemaking as an art and to further the knowledge of, and respect for, wine culture. The input of more than 100 of South Africa’s premier wineries, industry specialists and researchers made this a truly remarkable effort.
The Guide addresses terroir and tourism in a revolutionary way with the new Wine Pockets system. Individual Pockets highlight a specific terroir unit along with local wine styles, providing an overview of the unique qualities of each wine-producing area. Detailed regional, as well as single-day Pocket driving-maps make The Essential Guide easy to use for local and international wine enthusiasts and even include Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates.
Released in August 2006, the publication achieved astounding media success and became an instant best seller. But the authors’ most important achievement was yet to come – On 6 December 2006, The Essential Guide won the coveted title “Best Book on New World Wines – English” at the 2006 Gourmand World Awards. The spotlight focussed on this publication again during April 2007, when the global winners competed in Beijing, China, for the title of “World’s Best”. The Essential Guide won its category to become only the third South African book heralded as “The World’s Best Book on New World Wines”. This places the authors in much esteemed international company, immediately raising the standard for South African writing and wine-making alike.
“South African wines are a success internationally and so are wine books from South Africa,” said Edouard Cointreau, CEO and Chairman of Gourmand, “Wine tourism is quite developed in South Africa, while terroir is still controversial for some. This book is clearly excellent.”
The South African media agrees with Cointreau:
“An essential accompaniment to your Winelands exploration” – Planet Golf
“The most complete guide to the Cape Winelands ever” – Iafrica.com
“A first for the Cape Wine Industry” – Michael Fridjhon (SA’s top wine authority; wine writer and critic)
“A valuable contribution to wine tourism. Very good maps. (It will) enhance the Cape winelands experience for every traveller” – Natal Witness
About the authors:
Elmari Swart is an entrepreneur with vision, passion and ability to bring new ideas to life. In her wine career, Elmari combined professional knowledge with extensive local and international travel – to culminate in a Masters degree in Oenology, winemaking ventures in France, Australia and South Africa, as well as publishing in European wine magazines. With a flair for creative expression and an adventurous spirit she started her own publishing business and recently released her maiden vintage Syrah to a 4 star Platter rating.
Izak Smit heads a specialist business consultancy in the South African agricultural sector, focussing on the wine industry. Izak’s experience in financial management and international trade established him as a leader in the analysis and strategic alignment of new agricultural ventures within a globally competitive environment. Izak is a firm advocate of terroir wine.
Motivated by “the custodians of our trade, fine wine and the beauty of life”, Elmari and Izak say they are already working on their next innovative concept. Together with specialist photographer, Jaap Scholten, their upcoming projects promise to be more remarkable success stories!