South Africa’s Royal Wine

He doesn't strike me as the Chardonnay type. A Shiraz maybe or Tempranillo?

I think this is great, and I can’t wait to get a few bottles. His Majesty Inggonyama Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu has his own wine. The Bayede! label takes its name from the royal “job creation enterprise”. I thought that the King had set up his own farm to create jobs, but it seems that the wine is sourced from “well-known wineries in SA” instead. I am not sure who these wineries are, but I do know that Eikendaal definitely makes some of it.

The range is made up of seven wines. The Queen Mantfombi (the King’s first wife) Sparkling 07, The Queen Thomo (the King’s mother) Rouge 09, Queen Thomo Sauvignon Blanc, the King Goodwill Chardonnay 08, Shiraz and Merlot 07, and the big boy, the King Shaka Classique 05. Just like George Foreman and his grill he puts his name on it as “all wines are appointed to and signed by His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini”.

I love that ‘classique ‘ – so European – is associated with Shaka. I just can’t match up Shaka and wine. Imagine King Shaka permitting a European audience and then sharing a glass of Claret.

The King Shaka is not cheap either selling for R186.24 at trade, so around R200-R220 retail and R300+ at restaurants. I think The Stables Wine Estate in Kwa-Zulu Natal should start pestering the King for a go at making his wine.

I haven’t tasted them yet but I am getting one or two bottles to try. I think it is a great occasion for my first video tasting. If it’s good enough for the King, it is good enough for me to make a fool of myself on camera.


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