Blaauwklippen heritage estate in Stellenbosch is launching a unique twist on craft gin with South Africa’s first Zinfandel-infused gin – the alluring bright crimson Zin Gin.
Celebrating their pioneering role as the first to grow and produce Zinfandel wines in South Africa, Blaauwklippen Zin Gin leads a brand-new range of three handcrafted, small-batch-distilled gins from the historic 337-year-old estate.
“Together, Zin Gin, Garden Gin and Farm Gin reflect the key elements that give Blaauwklippen a special place in the history of South African wine and farming, combined with our spirit of innovation that puts a fresh spin on tradition and offers consumers new ways to experience familiar products,” Blaauwklippen marketing manager Johan van Dyk said.
That spirit of innovation also comes into the fascinating gin-and-nougat pairing introduced at the Blaauwklippen tasting room to launch the new range and showcase the intriguing and complex flavours, Van Dyk said.
• Distilled Zinfandel juice lends the special edition Zin Gin its distinctive deep crimson colour and a fresh dimension of flavour, with infused botanicals selected to complement the influence of the wine and produce an exotic, warm and spicy gin.
Traditional juniper berries combine with cinnamon, coriander, angelica root, grains of paradise, orris root, almonds and lemon to give Zin Gin an enticing aroma of pine, blackcurrant, red wine tannin and sweet-spicy cinnamon notes. Sweet red berries, sour cranberries and tea-like tannins evolve into black pepper and nutty woodiness on the palate, with a warm citrus and cinnamon finish.
Pairing: Berry & cherry nougat
• Floral and complex, the crystal-clear flagship Farm Gin is infused with juniper and an array of 11 other botanicals that provide its intricate layers of flavour and substantial mouthfeel.
A heady fragrance of sweet honeysuckle and herbaceous geranium, with aromatic pine and zesty grapefruit, leads into the silky-smooth and slightly sweet gin, where herbal and floral notes combine with a burst of juniper, wild figs and pecan nuts. Grapefruit and orange zest round out a lingering floral and spicy white pepper finish.
Pairing: Spicy pecan, fig and red peppercorn nougat.
• Easy-drinking Garden Gin completes the new range with its infusion of herbal, spicy and citrus botanicals, made for relaxed everyday sipping.
Crystal-clear, its upfront aroma driven by fresh pine and camphor with perfumed passion fruit and sage is complemented by subtle citrus zest. Freshness follows onto the palate, balancing complex herbal notes and sweetly fruity orange that carry through into a gentle, fresh finish.
Pairing: Lemon & thyme or coriander & mint nougat
The distinctive bottles, beautifully printed with illustrations of their botanical ingredients, will stand out on the shelf and make pretty-as-a-picture keepsakes even when the gin is done.
Van Dyk said all three gins were made by vapour distillation where the delicate flavours and essential oils of the botanicals are gently and slowly extracted and infused into the spirit as vapour, rather than coming into contact with the liquid, resulting in a refined and elegant gin.
Sample these new gins at the Blaauwklippen tasting room seven days a week from 10.00-17.00. The gin-and-nougat pairing of three gins and 3 nougat costs R135 per person.
The new gins are available at the Blaauwklippen cellar door or online shop at R385 for Farm Gin and Garden Gin, and R425 for Zin Gin.