Of life, perseverance and wine

Of life, perseverance and wine

Bernard Mocke

Ben Snyman has a curious mind. When this Overhex winemaker tells me of his overseas travels in search of winemaking enlightenment, his passion and commitment is clear, hallmarks of a good winemaker. Then some Chenin Blanc is poured, Ben smoothly changes gears and the story behind the Survivor wine range unfolds …

The inspiration behind the Survivor wine range is based on the robust Nguni breed of cattle, believed to be brought into South Africa by the Khoisan. Their resilience and economic importance notwithstanding, breeding with Nguni bulls became illegal in the late 1800s and extinction once again faced the breed after the harsh climate and diseases first did its best. All this bull, however, was set aside after the 1940s when government established herds for research purposes and the Nguni Cattle Breeders’ Association was established.

Back to the present. Survivor, the Nguni cow that jumped off a moving truck into a Swartland vineyard, did her name justice. She thrived in her new home and inspired a hugely popular and successful brand. And it’s here in the same Swartland vineyard she found her new home, that the grapes for these wines are sourced from.

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