April is the time for SPECTACULAR South Africa, a month-long campaign celebrating South Africa’s National Day (also called Freedom Day) on 27 April, when Nelson Mandela was elected the first black president to lead the country in 1994.
The celebration has been on a smaller scale these past two pandemic years, but Wines of South Africa (WoSA), the organiser of the event, is excited to bring back the campaign in full swing, with this year marking its 10th anniversary.
Over 100 participating restaurants, wine retailers and online shops are offering various South African wine promotions during the month of April. A few dining highlights include the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé (Cap Classique) and biltong pairing at Champagne Bar at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, the South African gastronomic excursion at Mirage Bar & Restaurant at Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, the South African wine-pairing journey at SKYE Roofbar & Dining at The Park Lane Hong Kong, the night dedicated to David & Nadia Wines’ magnums at Shady Acres and the all-you-can-taste South African wine event at mato. To indulge in full South African fare, head to either Africa Coffee & Tea or Call Me AL for South African wine-pairing dinners.
For more casual tastings, drop by FRANCIS (wine flights), La Cabane (public tastings) or PD Jemmuelson (flights for Longridge Tasting Day on 28 April). Otherwise, you can order online from Wine Impala (Favourites Sampler Box) or pick up various South African wine at a discount at many online wine stores. Wine retailers and supermarkets including Watson’s Wine, Two More Glasses, Crushed Wines, Vynluna Wines, 3hreesixty and Market Place by Jasons are also running different promotions.
Selfie and IG savvy wine lovers should enter the SPECTACULAR South Africa photo competition organised by MyiCellar for a chance to win a South African gift basket. You can also vote for your favourite South African wine, with the three wines garnering the most votes offered at a discount.
In addition, the SPECTACULAR South Africa Experience Store, a pop-up shop that debuted in 2021 to great fanfare, will be returning this year to Central Market from 24 April until 10 May. A collaboration between Wines of South Africa, Brand South Africa and the South African Consulate General in Hong Kong, the pop-up seeks to showcase some of the country’s preeminent, world-class exports. Chief amongst these are the nation’s wines (which South Africa has been producing for the past 364 years), biltong (the country’s most beloved snack) and rooibos tea (a native South African tea that’s rich in antioxidants).
The highlight of the pop-up is a series of themed tasting experiences. Wine lovers can explore the diversity of South African wine over a tasting of six wines, from South Africa’s signature grape varieties of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage to the classic premium wine and creative blends produced by young winemakers. There are 14 sessions covering 11 themes. These experiences will be conducted by wine professionals, and attendees will receive a wine voucher for use at the pop-up shop. There are limited seats, so book now – tickets can be booked online.
South Africa’s rich winemaking history includes Dutch, French, German and Italian influences. It embraces all the best traditions of Old World wines while still exploring New World styles. In the past two decades, South African wines have taken a quantum leap forward, featuring more and more innovative young winemakers. International wine critics have praised the creativity, originality and quality of South African wine and share the view that South Africa is the most dynamic and exciting New World wine country at the moment.
Whether you’ve been to South Africa, are planning a trip there or haven’t even thought about it yet – visit the South African pop-up shop and you will be convinced that the Rainbow Nation should be at the top of your must-travel list. I visited South Africa for first time in 1994 and have been back 15 times since then! I’m sure you’ll enjoy South Africa’s scenery, wine, food, hospitality and vibe as much as I do.