Fortified wine is a wine to which a distilled spirit, usually brandy, is added. The spirits are added (fortified) at or near the beginning of fermentation, during fermentation (as in the case of Port or Cape Ruby as known in South Africa) or after fermentation (as in Sherry).
The fortification method was developed way back when (during the 17th century) as Port was initially a dry red wine from the Douro region (established in 1730). Winemakers then discovered that a touch of brandy improved the wine and preserved it for shipping to other regions across the world.
Since Port is fortified during fermentation, while sugar is still being converted into alcohol, it remains on the sweet side, because the spirits halt fermentation.
DID YOU KNOW?
This means that, in South Africa, these types of wines must be labelled using “-style”, “-type” or “-like”, or classify it using “Cape” in the name - therefore we use names such as Cape Ruby, Cape White, Cape Tawny etc.
We are glad that this fortification method is still in use today, because we have a beautiful Reserve Cape Ruby NV. Click here to make your online purchase.