Who better than Giorgio to muster local Super Tuscan?!

WORD IS GETTING OUT! It was just a few months back that he impressed with a 5 Star rating in Platter’s SA Wine Guide for his 2007 Bordeaux-style blend, Wine of Origin Stellenbosch. Then he released a tiny quantity of the first top-end Pinot Noir under his own label, a 2011 WO Polkadraai Hills. And now we can look forward to something quite different from this self-confessed Francophile from the town of Pordenone in the Friuli region of Italy  something Italian in the bottle, at last!

Among the local wine cognoscenti, Signor Giorgio Dalla Cia is one of South Africa’s best known and most fondly-regarded Italian imports. After he established himself as the maker of Rubicon and other fine wines at the cellar of Meerlust on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, some thought that his boutique business encompassing the Pane e Vino Food & Wine Bar plus a line of grappas wouldn’t amount to much more than a retirement project. As it transpired though, the little restaurant at Bosman’s Crossing alongside the railway line just west of the Stellenbosch CBD has become renowned for authentic Italian fare  gotta try the signature dish Osso Buco with Pappardelle Pasta  and the wines have graduated from quaffing stuff to gems including the flagships Giorgio (just over R200pb), Pinot Noir (R375pb) and Classico Cabernet (around R117pb). A case of Italian food, Italian proprietor and family, but nothing at all Italian when it comes to the vino – until now, that is.

The vineyards where Dalla Cia comes from in Italy are planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon, and Refosco, a red variety pretty much unheard of at the foot of Africa. Pordenone is more famous for its grappa, and after moving to South Africa Dalla Cia remained in love with French wine styles, hardly tempted to dabble with Italian varieties. Initially there was very little of anything Italian to choose from in the Cape winelands and when there was it wasn’t to his liking. But times change…
With no Merlot included this time, the 2007 vintage of Dalla Cia’s Bordeaux-style blend Giorgio is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot, the fruit sourced from the “golden slopes” of the Helderberg. According to the winemaker, this, the sixth edition, is “much fuller, austere and more complex” than previous vintages 
“In the ’70s and ’80s everybody wanted Bordeaux,” says Dalla Cia. “Today they’re looking for something different,” and having found something interesting and of good quality in the vineyards of Wellington and Stellenbosch he’s about to deliver just that under a new label. He won’t give away any more at this stage – other than that it is Super Tuscan in approach, made from grapes that will include Bordeaux and Sangiovese, and that it will be launched in a matter of months.