Hannuwa is the theme of Cape Wine 2018. This San word implies a life of harmony and plenty, or success in sustaining life. But what does this mean for the wine industry?
An awareness campaign by Wines of South Africa, the Hannuwa idea initially concentrated on local wine farmers and sustainable wine production. Focusing on success – whether it is in sustainability, wine quality or commerce – should be at the essence of a leading wine trade show such as Cape Wine and I think Hannuwa’s wider application is also very relevant here.
Hannuwa implies balance – a familiar word in wine and essential to successful and sustainable winemaking. Balance in the vine is affected by the terroir, farming practices such as pruning and canopy management and the micro-climate of the vineyard. The details can be quite technical, but it is very interesting. Read more.
Balance is of course also essential in the ultimate product – the wine. Keeping in mind all the variables such as vintage conditions, the grapes from a balanced vine combined with considered winemaking techniques should result in ideal proportions of alcohol, residual sugar, acidity and tannin. Thewineguy, writes: “Good balance is one of the most desired traits in a quality wine; balanced wines are symmetrical and tend to age gracefully. Balance is a concept that on the surface seems very simple, but is quite challenging.”
Finding the ideal harmony between sugar and acidity, fruit and oak is what differentiate good wines from average ones. Balance is therefore also very important when it comes to the enjoyment of wine, the food with which it is served, the responsible way in which it should be consumed…
Extending to much more than the product, however, a harmonious approach is all-inclusive. Establishing vineyards should not be at the expense of natural vegetation, resources should be used responsibly, pricing should be fair, social practices should be above board and the workforce should be supported rather than exploited.
For the San, who historically lived very close to nature, successful living meant the survival of both human and nature. In today’s world of virtual reality, e-commerce, etc. successful living seems further removed from nature, but more than ever, we have a responsibility to ensure harmony – holistically.
Is achieving this just a pie in the sky? Not if we are wise about it.
A few years ago we found that farming organically has depleted our soils of the necessary nutrients and that for us, to farm sustainably, we had to feed our soils. We still do it as naturally as possible, but we are not certified as Organic anymore. This does not mean that we are not still intent on farming in harmony with nature, but we are doing it in a way that makes sense.
Achieving balance might sound idealistic, but I believe what is important is to have harmony as the ideal and goal. To have it guide our efforts – whether we are farming, negotiating or making wine.