Fish Hoek Wine
Fish Hoek is a South African wine brand, launched by iconic and highly regarded winemaker Bruce Jack, who founded the Flagstone winery in 1998, and later launched the Fish Hoek range, within this portfolio of wines.
History of Fish Hoek
Having come to the market late, way after Kumala and First Cape, it has succeeded in carving out somewhat of a maverick niche, with a loyal band of followers, and a focus on staying close to its roots. Bruce Jack uses this brand as his mission statement for simplicity – let the wines speak for themselves, and don’t overcomplicate in this instance.
South Africa is now the 5th in the leader board of sales by country in the UK, and accounts for about 6% of total volume. Fish Hoek are now one of the most widely distributed South African wine brands, after Kumala, First Cape and Namaqua.
Fish Hoek is a South African wine brand, created by internationally acclaimed winemaker Bruce Jack, who set up his own wine company, Flagstone Wines in 1998.
Bruce Jack studied wine making in Australia, after a masters degree in Scotland. When he returned to South Africa, he knew clearly what he wanted to do.
He did not own vineyards, or an estate, so he invested in building a winery near Cape Town, using the equipment and techniques that he had learnt about in Australia. With no grapes, or land, initially he had to rely on his personality and contacts, in order to persuade vineyard owners to go into business with him. The timing was just right, coming at the end of the 1990s, after the end of Apartheid and the rush to build the presence of the South African wine industry on the world stage.
Uninhibited by the constraints of vineyard owners and winemakers who had worked within the old system, Bruce Jack set up a very modern winery, with his own quirky touches, with vast units to chill must down and allow long ‘soaks’, and a gravity flow system.
At the heart of the business is a passion for quality wines, made in a modern way, with the latest systems and techniques available. Even at the entry level of the market, with Fish Hoek, Bruce Jack has managed to retain the levels of quality and personality in his wines, that are lacking in so many others at this level. In addition to the Fish Hoek range, he produces a full range of Flagstone wines, at various quality levels and prices.
Fish Hoek is named after the small town of Fish Hoek, located in False Bay, in the suburbs of Cape Town, close to where the winery is located.
There was surprise in the industry when he sold Flagstone to international wine giant Constellation in 2008, but despite this, Jack has continued to maintain his individual focus and quirky edge in the Fish Hoek wines, continuing to embrace his fundamental principles of supporting sustainability, biodiversity and a a sense of provenance in each of the wines that he makes.
What Styles Of Wine Do Fishhoek Produce?
Fish Hoek produces a range of modern, varietal wines, all with the signature fish skeleton on the front label. The wines are fresh, true to varietal type, and individual. Simplicity is the motto in this range, where the fruit is gathered from vineyards in several regions of the Cape, but predominantly from the Swartland area.
Fish Hoek Sauvignon Blanc – a crisp, fresh, and zesty dry white, with lots of crunchy green apples and fresh lime character.
Fish Hoek Chenin Blanc – an intensely fruity, vibrant dry white, and a frequent award winner, for its zesty, punchy, tropical fruit style, which offers tremendous value.
Fish Hoek Pinotage Rose – a delightfully aromatic dry rose, combining heady flavours of cherry and strawberries. Sunday Express writer and blogger Jamie Goode described it as ‘dangerously moreish’.
Fish Hoek Merlot – soft, plummy, ripe style of red, with a full, fleshy character. Full of blackberry and mocha fruit, yet easy drinking.
Fish Hoek Pinotage – a medium bodied, fruity style of Pinotage, with the character of black cherries, enhanced by oak, which adds a hint of mocha to the style.
Fish Hoek Shiraz – a ripe, spicy, velvety red, full of rich plum and fruitcake character, made entirely from grapes grown in the hot climate of Swartland.