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Airport about to start producing wine in its arrivals hall

October 16, 2014 Airport, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Producing alcoholic beverages at airports? It’s a great crowd-pleaser though not a new concept. The acknowledged master of the craft is Munich Airport’s renowned Airbräu, the only airport brewery in the world brewing its beers in compliance with the exacting standards of the Reinheitsgebot, the Purity Decree of 1516. 

Now, another international airport has decided to try its hand at producing wine. The manufacturing will be conducted in the arrivals hall.

Cape Town International Airport, which handles over 8 million passengers annually, is ready for the task, the Johannesburg newspaper Business Day reports. Du Preez wine estate

A small winery, able to produce 700 bottles of Merlot every two years, has been built at a cost of about 200,000 rand (AUD 27,400). The cellar was established with the help of the Du Preez wine estate, situated at the foot of the Du Toitskloof Mountains in the Breede River Valley, approximately 75 kilometres from Cape Town.

The airport winery is scheduled to start bottling by the end of 2015, according to Business Day.

The arrivals hall is a smart place for such airport ventures, which tell visitors about local speciality goods and services they can experience during their stay.

South Africa has a venerable history of winemaking, having started more than 300 years ago when Jan van Riebeeck founded a station for sailors to replenish supplies at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652.

The country is now the world’s 11th-largest exporter. South Africa’s main wine-growing centre, Stellenbosch, was established later in the 17th century, before Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in France planted vineyards in the neighbouring Franschhoek valley.

As for Airbräu in distant Munich, it uses only hops from the renowned Hallertau region and the finest Hofbräuhaus brewer’s yeasts. Bavaria’s beers are celebrated and Airbräu holds the tradition high.

Trivia note: you can fly from Munich to Cape Town with minimal jet lag as they are both in the same time zone. A non-stop flight takes 11 hours and 25 minutes, which is more than enough time to sample beer in one airport and wine in the other while leaving a reasonable interval. Cheers!

Written by : Peter Needham

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