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Cooler climate versus Warmer climate tasting | Kenya

We got together for a tasting with customers and friends yesterday evening, in Nairobi, at the beautiful Pepper Tree cocktail emporium and restaurant. A tasting! So 2019. All protocols were observed, but what is encouraging to see is that all the Guests had received at least one shot of their Covid vaccine. The title "cooler climate versus warmer climate" sounds really adversarial, but that is not the intent! We just wanted to explore how it can impact flavour in the glass, and the results were really interesting. Here is what we tasted together:

  • Ken Forrester Petit Sauvignon Blanc - Stellenbosch

  • Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc - Elgin

  • Sutherland Chardonnay (Thelema's Elgin property)

  • Jordan Barrel Fermented Chardonnay - Stellenbosch

  • Belfield Magnifica Cabernet Sauvignon - Elgin

  • Jordan Long Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon - Stellenbosch

  • Iona One Man Band Red Blend - Elgin

  • Anthonij Rupert Optima Red Blend - Franschhoek

Climate definitely showed in the glass, with the cooler climate examples showing more freshness and acidity in the white wines, and more red fruit and softer tannin in the reds. The warmer climate wines also showed some extra mouth feel, and a different fruit profile along with bigger tannin structures for the reds.

Other factors come to play though, like wine making techniques, but overall it was a really interesting experience, and it helped to calibrate Guest preferences with the main question we often ask ourselves in wine - WHY does it taste like that that?

Here are Andrew Gunn of Iona and Ken Forrester from Elgin and Stellenbosch respectively talking about their wine regions and how these impact the wines.

Lastly, Allister talks us through harvest time at Belfield and how the climate impacts later ripening.

Thank you wonderful Nairobi for a great evening together.


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