“It was a beautiful sunny day, when we first saw the farm. It was love at first sight: we knew this place was special and would mean so much to us. Both passionate about agriculture and wine, proudly Italian but in love with South Africa, with its history, its people and its awesome natural environment, we were looking for a farm to buy and live.” Michela and Attilio Dalpiaz, owners of Ayama Wines.
The Italian couple, Michela and Attilio, were brought together in Italy though the mutual affinity for wine production. They met, fell in love and moved to South Africa to create their own Italian world of wine on the slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain.
Just an hour’s drive out of Cape Town, the couple and very good friends purchased Slent Farm in 2005, where a large portion of the farm was dedicated to vineyards, naming the wine produced there ‘AYAMA’, meaning ‘someone to lean on’ in its Xhosa translation. “The land, people and passion of Slent leans on friendship and love” explains Michela. Slent comprises an amass of 55 people sharing a passion for wine, respect for each other and for the environment. In addition to the 65 hectares of vineyards, Slent farm is also allotted to 2.5ha of pears, 9ha of olives, 2ha artichokes, and 4ha dedicated to special wheat and vegetables.
The Dalpiaz family worked diligently towards understanding the micro-climates, soils, varietals, bio-diversity and different cultures of the land. Paarl summers are long and warm with rainfall being scarce. Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz and Chenin Blanc have the greatest area-related thriving potential with high quality yield. In 2012 Viognier, Grenache blanc, and Grenache Noir were added to the bouquet, and in 2014 Carignan and Petite Syrah were planted.
“With a familial background in wine and connections with Italian viniculture, we sourced a very specific white grape from Sardinia to add a unique varietal to our range, Vermentino!” Michela elaborates. Planted in 2014, with its first harvest in 2016, AYAMA Vermentino is the first of its kind in South Africa. “The launch of our Vermentino was incredibly successful and we just released the 2017 harvest to the market, along with the introduction of our Carignan varietal this September.”
Both bottled in impressive magnums, these Italian cultivars will coincide the grand opening of the new Ayama cellar venue (phenomenal for small weddings and special occasions), the Slent farm store: stocking a range of wheats, vegetables and olive oils produced on the estate, artisanal hand-crafted goods, together with Ayama wines and a sought-after collection of imported Italian wines and Limoncello.
Further developments into summer 2018 include the pizza oven and picnic area for live bands and family outings, additional accommodation developments on the farm and a plethora of exciting must-attend events, placing Ayama Wines and Slent Farm firmly on the garden route map!
For more information visit http://ayama.co.za/ and stay up to date with news on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AyamaSlent/.
For wine orders or to join their wine club contact: +27 (0)21 8698313 firstname.lastname@example.org.