Wine of the Week: Leaf Plucker

What is the secret to making a good wine? Ask the French and they’ll say they’ll say its the terroir. Ask any New World grower and their more likely to say its the human input that really makes the difference. But ask the Leaf Plucker vineyard on the Western Cape of South Africa and they’ll put it down to one rather unusual factor: sheep.

Winner of the Gold badge at the Quality Drink Awards for Best White Wine Under £7, Leaf Plucker is a lovely example of animals and nature coming together to create something we all love: wine.

The wine is a very unique Sauvignon Blanc which came to life through a flock of sheep. One day, Thys Louw, the winemaker, peered out of his window and saw a flock of sheep serenely meandering through the vineyards in the early morning mist. He realised they had been plucking the leaves from the vines, resulting in the summer sun reaching the vines and ripening them to perfection.

The sheep were nicknamed the Leaf Pluckers, and created the ideal fruit for Thys to turn into wine. Thys fermented a portion in French oak barrels, with a resulting characterful Sauvignon Blanc that provides incredible value for money. As homage to the sheep, there are six different bottle designs to collect.

The wine is packed full of flavour with aromas of guava, citrus and honeysuckle. Tropical, zesty citrus flavours and a subtle toasty roundness. It’s ideal with full flavoured seafood dishes and creamy soup or blackened, spicy pan-fried fish.

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