On the 26th September Ayama wine farm officially launched their brand and asked a group of media to visit and explore their farm. Ayama Wines resides on Slent Farm, which lies on the Paardeberg region in the Paarl Winelands outside Cape Town. Let’s take a look at the people and process behind the brand.
The Slent farm was bought over by an Italian owners Michela Sfiligoi and her husband in 2004 while visiting South Africa. Since then they have been busy creating a balance and unique offering in a mix of Italian and South African wines. Some of the vines were imported from Italy, then grown in our local soil to make a new combined taste for their wines.
Based on their love for South Africa and their home country of Italy, Ayama is a new product to come out of South Africa. On arriving, we were welcomed with a chilled prosecco while we were introduced to the farm, given a short history and more about the brand’s story.
A drive through Slent Farm
After the welcome drinks, we were treated to cute tractor ride around the property. When I heard we were visiting a farm, the first thing I though was dress comfortably! I’m glad I listened to my instinct.
We drove around the olive trees, then past their wheat and finally to their prized vineyards. We got to see how they planted the vines and we got an opportunity to plant one of them ourselves. Our hosts provided us with shoe protectors because it was an overcast day and the field was muddy.
Lunch with Ayama
After the ride, we were treated to an Italian styled lunch paired with the farm’s wines. The high ceiling, white washed walls give the space a simplistic and homey atmosphere which double as a great events hall.
The food was laid out as a large spread, and we could help ourselves to freshly baked breads, salamis, smoked hams and a variety of cheeses. It was delicious, and my favourite was the cheese and bread.
We were served mini pizzas, soup and artichokes. I’m not an artichoke fan, so I cannot tell you of it was good or not. I heard it was delicious from Roxy of the Witty Wine Woman blog.
Italian hearts, South African Soil
The Sfiligois currently also produce and sell flour and olives alongside their wines. Their onsite store is a converted sheep/pig feeding trough which they cleverly converted to display and store their goods. Upstairs, they have a small craft store selling local hand-made goods such as soaps and various paraphernalia.
I think Ayama opens up new possibilities in foreign investment in agriculture and farming in South Africa. The fusion of imported Italian vine seeds is not an easy task to overcome from the importing permissions to the actual challenge of harvesting it in new soil. The combination was undoubtedly unique and the hard work has paid off. We now have a new taste and brand right here in SA.
The farm is scenic and has wonderful views over the valley. I think the fact that they are still new, makes it all still a bit intriguing. The drive alone in this unspoilt wine region should definitely be on your to-do list as well.