Angelo van Dyk
WASTED WINE CLUB
The Wasted Wine Club was born of a conversation with Francois Haasbroek (winemaker of Blackwater Wines) one February afternoon in Stellenbosch. I remember it was sweltering hot outside. He pointed out a couple of barrels in the cellar that he wasn’t sure what to do with. It was some old Cabernet Franc that had been produced and not used. It got me thinking: what happens to excess wine that isn’t used? And how often is this the case?
It seems an unlikely truth, but often wineries end up with more wine than they need. Sometimes they’ve had a bumper crop, and don’t have a demand in the market for all of it. Sometimes they’re obliged to commit to fruit from one block in order to get the fruit that they want from another. Ultimately, they end up with more wine than they need, in vessels that at some point need emptying in order to make space for future vintages. So, what happens to all these wayward wines? There’s nothing wrong with the liquid. It’s the same juice that they would otherwise bottle, but in most instances, they will blend it away, sell it for bulk, or in the saddest of instances, simply open the taps and pour it down the drains.
And so, the Wasted Wine Club was conceived. A concept that allows us to collaborate with talented winemakers from around the world and breathe new life into these wines. Most importantly, we’ll be minimising wastage, an issue that needs serious addressing in general. If you consider the amount of time, labour and hard work that goes into getting a wine from start to finish, as well as the agricultural impact too, it seems that now more than ever we need to shift our focus to how we can drink more responsibly and with more of a conscience.
But mostly, these are just delicious wines that we are excited to bottle and share with the world. We are starting with two cuvées from South Africa, which has been devastated by Covid and alcohol bans over the course of 2020. It's meant there is a surplus of wine now desperate for homes. Alex McFarlane is an extremely talented new kid on the block, whose wines I have had the privilege of tasting for many years now, and which have always impressed me. Excitingly, the first release has been crafted by her, and include a Semillon & Chenin Blanc blend, as well as a delicious Cinsaut red.
These wines are due to hit the market in the new year, so I suggest you jump on the mailing list in the meantime to stay up to date with the exciting happenings. You can go to the website and sign up here:
And if you're after the first bit of merchandise, you can find it here: