Surfing and Wine Collaboration Takes Off in Wake of Beach Ban

In the wake of the lifting of the beach and wine ban in South Africa, Grangehurst Winery and Wavescape have announced the release of White Curl 2020 – a fusion of surfing and winemaking.

A series of hard lockdowns have been tough for winemakers and surfers, but with autumn around the corner the surf is looking up, and so are wine sales, after President Cyril Ramaphosa finally lifted a ban on alcohol and beaches imposed during the festive season.

To coincide with the rush to the beaches and the bottle stores, Wavescape Wines have released the aptly named White Curl 2020 and Red Barrel 2014, a play on surfing jargon that denotes a collaboration between popular surfing and weather forecasting website and boutique winery Grangehurst, near Stellenbosch.

First launched in 2016 when Wavescape founder Steve Pike and owner of Grangehurst Jeremy Walker, both keen surfers who enjoy good waves and great wine, decided to find a way to pay homage to these gifts of nature.

The original red vintage was a 2009 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, grown in vineyards not far from surf spots The Pipe, Bikini Beach and Caves. Red Barrel 2009 was matured in French oak barrels, while the 2015 White Curl was an unwooded, crisp, fruity, medium-dry blend of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.

The 2014 Red Barrel and 2020 White Curl are similar to the previous vintages, although the White Curl 2020 is completely dry (not medium-dry). White Curl – the crest of a breaking wave – exhilarates and refreshes as does this crisp, dry blend of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. Red Barrel 2014 – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage and Petit Verdot – will be seven years old when it is released in April 2021.

As winemaker Jeremy Walker said: “Now that the ban on surfing and buying wine has been lifted, it’s time to go surfing, and afterwards enjoy a chilled, crisp glass of White Curl!” He added that 1,440 bottles of the White Curl 2020 have been bottled and that it is drinking beautifully. Wavescape’s Steve Pike said that the fusion of surfing and winemaking was evident in the health warning addendum on the label: “Surfing is good for your health”.

Wavescape Wines have been enjoyed by many wine drinkers over the last few years. Those who have attended previous iterations of the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival will remember the wines at many of the live events. The wine has also been enjoyed by the likes of Shaun Tomson, who was complimentary about the original Red Barrel during a visit to South Africa in March 2017. Red Barrel 2009 proved to be very popular in Holland at various wine bars that included Dutch kite surfers as patrons!