Since tweeting an item I read in corporate publication on the history of the Italo-South African wine company Monis, now part of Distell, various enquiries have flocked in. This has to do with the book, written on commission from Monis by Romi Boome in the 1980’s, stating that Monis was the first South African winery to produce a bottle-fermented sparkling wine.
Current industry data state the first such wines to have been made by the great Frans Malan from Simonsig in 1971.
However, the Monis publication?+¦-+?+¡informs us of?+¦-+?+¡the following: ?+¦?+º?+¦Monis Wineries also made the first bottle-fermented champagne ever in this country. For this historic event twenty members of the Wine Tasters Guild visited the winery on 7 December 1956 by which time the new South African champagne had been fermenting in bottles for five years and was considered ready for consumption. The members of the Guild remarked on its high quality and the complete absence of ?+¦?+º??gas’ unlike some South African sparkling wines in which the sparkle was introduced artificially. The Guild members also sampled 10 different brands of South African medium sweet sparkling wines and allotted points for ?+¦?+º??delicacy’, ?+¦?+º??cleanness’ and ?+¦?+º??type’ with the intention of improving sparkling wines in future.?+¦?+º?+æ
Sixty months on the lees, nogal! This is a great piece of history, and one cannot but wonder why Distell, who now own Monis, do not use this narrative in further entrenching their sparkling wine pedigree? I definitely would.
Any old timers out there with more information?