Wine has always played a big part in enriching the human experience.
From as far back as the Neolithic period, wine has been central to human beings for sustenance, social and religious significance, trade, and good health.
Wine has also gone hand-in-hand with merry making throughout the ages. If fact, we here at Ayza think the Greek God of Wine, Dionysus, totally nailed it when he introduced wine “to make humankind happy.”
After all, isn’t wine’s most universal purpose to celebrate life, love, and friendship?
We think so.
That’s why we are so pleased to introduce you to the Fat Barrel Wine Company—a purveyor of fine wines from South Africa that, in their own words, is all about good friends, great wine, relationships, and community: “the good stuff.”
The Journey to Cape Town and Back
You could say Bob Lynde’s first trip to South Africa 25 years ago changed his life—igniting his passion for the country, its people, and the region’s formidable wine-making legacy.
Traveling to Cape Town with friends, Lynde was instantly struck by the region’s undeniable physical beauty, and the grace and honesty of its diverse people.
The Oregon-based wine importer and distributor was also fascinated by South Africa’s rich viticultural history as well: the first imported European grape vines in the 1600s, the catastrophic phylloxera infestion of the 1880’s, the cross-pollinated Pinotage grape in 1900s, the biodynamic plant kingdom of the Cape Floral Region, and so much more.
It’s safe to say Lynde fell hard for South Africa.
So much so, that he returned back to the states with a fervent mission to “tell the story of South Africa’s great vignerons.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
“The Barrelman’s Bounty”
Following through on his vision, Lynde established the Fat Barrel Wine Company in 2007.
Today, the company is responsible for producing more than 14 brands from independently-owned wine farms representing the best the Cape has to offer. It also collaborates with retailers and restaurants in the U.S. to produce and distribute several private label wine brands.
But don’t worry, all this success hasn’t given Fat Barrel Wine Company a fat head.
They “refuse” to take themselves too seriously (just check out the naked guy in a barrel on their website and on their Fat Barrel brand bottles). They also do not subscribe to “wine snobbery.”
In fact, they pledge to create “fine wines at fair pricing from a far-off place.”
We’ll drink to that.
What’s even better is Lynde’s philanthropic commitment to help those in need in South Africa; 10% of Fat Barrel Company’s brand sales revenue goes towards funding organizations that are combating humanitarian challenges in the region.
Take a Sip of the Rainbow Nation
Ayza is thrilled to offer our clientele Fat Barrel Wine Company’s Select Cabernet Sauvignon emanating from the South African Syrah/Shiraz grape.
This luscious grape is a rock star among the New World wine varietals, and helps create an extremely full-bodied red wine bursting with blackberry and plum flavors.
Originating from the Rhône Valley in Southern France, the Syrah has done extremely well in the warm, dry climate of South Africa.
Fat Barrel’s Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah also begins with traces of cinnamon, pepper spice, cloves and nutmeg, and finishes with “undertones of sweet vanilla pod.”
It pairs extremely well with bold foods.
Stop in to Ayza for a sample of Fat Barrel’s brand of “the good stuff.”