Brief History of Cape Ruby in South Africa

During the month of May we launched Rosendal's first desert wine, the Cape Ruby. Although most of us still know it as 'Cape Port', the European Union has limited this description to fortified wines, originating from the Douro Valley in Portugal, obligating us to drop the word 'Port' in the name.


The practice of fortifying wines in South Africa traces back to the 19th century when sweet styled wines became popular in Europe. A renaissance of sort took place in the 1960's when grape farmers started planting quality Portuguese cultivars and subsequently produced superior fortified wines.


There are 7 different classifications of 'Port' of which Cape Ruby is the most popular one. It is a blend of young, full-bodied and fruity fortified wines, with a minimum of 50% of the wine matured at least 6 months in oak barrels or tank. The final blended product must then mature for another year before it can be bottled and enjoyed!


It is a versatile wine that can be served slightly chilled during warmer days. Try matching with soft salty cheeses, rich chicken liver pates, or simply sip beside a crackling fire.

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