South African wines popular among royals the world over – plus a president or three

THE WINERY of Good Hope’s featuring Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2012 among the wines on tables at the Stockholm wedding banquet of Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip, son of Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf, prompted flash-backs to various other occasions prior to this June 2015 event that South African wines have been served to royalty…

obama queen wine

TOAST 2011: US Pres Barack Obama and the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II

Graham Beck Brut NV Cap Classique sparkling wine has been enjoyed by both the Swedish and the British royal families over the years. It was also served at the inauguration of SA President Nelson Mandela in 1994 and requested by US President Barack Obama on his Election Night in 2008.

At the 2011 wedding celebrations of Charlene Wittstock to Prince Albert, monarch of Monaco, winelists included the Cape’s Dombeya Samara 2009 and Chardonnay 2010 of Haskell Vineyards, as well as Dorrance Chardonnay Cuvée Anais 2009 and Annandale Charbert Merlot 2005. Bergwater Wines also laid claim in this regard…

Going back to the 18th century, the sweet wines of Constantia were served to royalty in Europe – and Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815, drank plenty of it until his death in exile on the island of St Helena in 1821.

More recently, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited Stellekaya during her royal visit in November 2014. It was reported that Queen Elizabeth II of England served Nabygelegen Chenin Blanc 2008 and Snow Mountain Pinot Noir 2009 to heads of the Commonwealth after her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. And before that, in 1996, Rust en Vrede hosted Queen Margrethe of Denmark for an official lunch in the manor house.

However, when it comes to royalty being entertained in the winelands of South Africa, Vergelegen is second to none, having hosted the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (Charles and Camilla) in 2011, Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Edward the Duke of Kent in 2000, Prince Edward in 1997, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip in 1995… and not forgetting US President Bill Clinton and Mrs Hilary Clinton as guests of SA Pres Nelson Mandela and Ms Graça Machel in 1998.

It’s all about who you know, right?!