Friday, March 25, 2011

Hanepoots

Sadly it is almost the end of the summer, and therefore also nearly the end of the hanepoot table grape season here in Constantia. These heavenly grapes were brought to the Cape hundreds of years ago and it is thought that they are the "spaanse Driuven" referred to by Jan van Riebeeck in the mid 1600s. It is an old variety of grape having been cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, hence the name Muscat d'Alexandrie. They are known all over South Africa as "hanepoots" which literally means "hens feet" in Afrikaans - from the shape of the leaf it seems.
A slightly different muscat, Muscat de Frontignac or Muscadel, is used in the making of the famous Vin de Constance, mentioned in the novels of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

5 comments:

  1. Hanepoot grapes are great table grapes. I can't believe the season is at an end. Better get some mor ein the shop before the are done.

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  2. Still a looooong way off until we have grapes!
    Are you able to buy Canadian ice wine there? If you are not familiar it is made from grapes left on the vines until Dec/Jan, picked during the night at minus 10C. The grape yields very little juice , and the resulting wine is sweet and delicious.
    Jane x

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  3. i want to plant some hanepoot on my plot where will I get some vines or plants hennie
    email henniem@vodamail.co.za

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  4. Hanepoot grapes are wonderful. I have never tasted grapes as delicious. The first time I had one I thought it was something else. I couldn't believe they were grapes.

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