An audacious innovation

File: A farm worker harvests rooibos tea. Stellenbosch wine farm Audacia has produced a rooibos and honeybush-enhanced range of wine. Video: eNCA

STELLENBOSCH – A Stellenbosch wine farm has unveiled a unique range of wine that's lower in kilojoules, healthier and packed with flavour.

Health-conscious people and kilojoule counters the world over may have found something unique to pair with their diet: Audacia's rooibos wooded range.

With no added sulphur or preservatives, the wine has been made with indigenous rooibos and honeybush wood chips. 

"The uniqueness is the lower alcohol and with the lower alcohol it has lower carbs in and we don't add any sugar to give body to the wine again, because usually when you take the alcohol out you have to add sugar to add structure and body to the wine and we use the honeybush wood which gives structure, it gives the sweetness so it's actually pleasant on the nose, interesting flavours, aromas. The whole world is moving into the direction of using less sugar and we just wanted cater for that," said Audacia's winemaker, Michael van Niekerk.

The winemaking process is patented and unique to South Africa.

"What it will mean to South Africans is Brand SA will be able to package a product in this country which is unique with no competition for the next 18 years and that makes it special," said Audacia owner Trevor Strydom.

The range is not only a healthier option, but it is also great for the local economy, according to Alan Winde, Economic Opportunities MEC.

"We've gone as South African (producers) from 50-millions litres a year in exports to 500-million litres a year, so it's been nice growth over the last 20 years and we would like to see this continuing. What this does through using our indigenous woods, we're seeing low sulphur or no sulphur, and … uniqueness coming out through this innovation and I think this also positions us in a competitive way globally."

Even though the wine has a lower alcohol content at 7,5%, the producers encourage responsible consumption.

eNCA

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