In partnership with Wine Impala
South Africa’s Cape Winelands are exceptionally beautiful and offer an incredibly diverse range of grapes and wineries. Yet, sadly, they are just a little too far away from Hong Kong, especially at this travel-less time.
With its vast range of wines available in all styles and prices, Hong Kong is known as a paradise for wine lovers. However, it still feels as though South African wine is not as largely represented in the Hong Kong market in the same way as other well-known wine regions. When South African wine is on a menu here, it’s usually a very small, overpriced glass or bottle. Seeking to change this by bringing affordable, high-quality South African wine to Hong Kong is husband-and-wife wine-importing duo Wine Impala.
Introducing Wine Impala
Frances and Scott Roberts of Wine Impala
Proudly South African Frances Roberts met her now husband, Scott Roberts, an Australian pilot, in Hong Kong. Both Frances and Scott grew up around wine and share a passion for trying different wines from all over the world. Through Frances, Scott also fell in love with South African wine during the couple’s travels and many visits to the Cape Winelands.
Wine Impala was born out of a desire to bring the South African wines they love to Hong Kong, beginning simply with Scott buying as much wine as possible on his layovers in Johannesburg for their own consumption. After getting married in South Africa in March 2020 and spending their “honeymoon” in quarantine back in Hong Kong, with plenty of free time to do their research, they decided to start their own business importing South African wine on a consumer level.
Focus on South African wine
Constantia Glen, Cape Town
Anyone who has ever lived in or travelled to South Africa can attest to the incredible value and quality of South African wine. The Cape Winelands are home to many microclimates that allow wineries to produce diverse types of wine in line with the quality of Old World regions, at a fraction of the cost.
Unfortunately, much like many other industries during the ongoing pandemic, the South African wine industry has taken a major hit, with the South African government imposing multiple bans on alcohol sales. This leaves exports as the only source of income for many wineries.
Wine Impala feels very strongly about supporting the South African wine industry and hopes that Hong Kong customers will feel the same after they’ve been introduced to this spectacular region. While many of their customers are passionate about (or have some sort of connection to) South African wine, others have never before tried South African wine.
“One of our favourite parts of the business has been speaking with our customers, and we have found that these personal relationships have really made a big difference. We’re so passionate about this wine, and every time we hear a customer reciprocate this passion, it honestly makes our day. People in Hong Kong are so open to trying new and unknown things, and I think this has really shown.”
– Frances Roberts
What to drink
Wine Impala has chosen its wineries very carefully, doing as much research as possible – reading, getting to know people in the industry and drinking A LOT of wine – to ensure they showcase the best South Africa has to offer. They also value having a personal relationship with each winery and have spent a lot of time getting to know the winemakers. While they would love to visit more of the wineries in person, sadly this has not been possible with current travel restrictions. However, they have adapted to the times by spending hours on Zoom with the winemakers.
Wine Impala works with a handful of producers that offer exceptional wine at reasonable prices. Whether sourced from larger, established wineries producing classically styled wines, independent winemakers sourcing organically grown grapes to create natural wines or small, family-run vineyards, rest assured that the wine you receive from Wine Impala will be of exceptional quality.
L’Avenir Single Block Pinotage
To start your South African Journey (timed perfectly with Chinese New Year), Wine Impala suggests L'Avenir Single Block Pinotage ($270). Pinotage is a grape variety crossing Cinsault and Pinot Noir that was created in South Africa and is now the country’s signature grape. Pinotage actually pairs so beautifully with Chinese cuisine that you would never know it wasn’t made for it!
Those seeking an excellent Pinot Noir with a seriously good price tag should give Moreson Miss Molly “The Huntress” Pinot Noir ($105) a try. This light, silky red is born from grapes from an extremely low-yielding vineyard in Franschhoek and boasts an excellent flavour concentration of sour cherry and bramble.
Finally, for wine geeks looking for something a bit different, Wine Impala recommends Rall Cinsault ($195), a light and refreshing expression of the grape that goes down a little too easily. This Cinsault comes from Donovan Rall, an independent winemaker with a passion for the Swartland region of South Africa and the varietals that thrive in this warmer climate.
Wine Impala delivers across Hong Kong
Wine Impala offers free delivery for orders over $500. Order online via their website or message them on Instagram for more details. Order before 1pm for next business day delivery (location dependent). They deliver across Hong Kong (yes, everywhere – even the islands!).
Use our special discount code FOODIE10 to get 10% off your order until 5 February 2021!
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