"Just for the record - I am a huge fan of Swartland white blends. The image of South African wines has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and the Swartland played a huge part in this. Their wines, especially the Rhône-style white blends are top notch. They are fun, young, energetic and unique and started to gain international fame.
Stellenbosch, however (where I studied winemaking), is the original EMPIRE of South African wine. Like most of us, I like to support the underdog, and in the case of white blends, the Empire became exactly that. So I created a white blend based on similar varieties - a combination that could give some of the Swartland white blends a go. The empire is therefore now striking back at the Swartland with a blend of an all-Stellenbosch Verdelho, Pinot blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Viognier.
The label consists of two sections. On the left part of the label you will see a half star, which was the logo for the "Swartland Revolution". And on the right - stripes that represent a traditional and conservative EMPIRE.
And the red brother of Empire Strikes Back is EMPIRE 2019 - not striking back but just being himself. With Cabernet Sauvignon as driver and bits of Petit Verdot and Cabernet franc to compliment.
The old style design label shows a combination crest. I combined the crest of Stellenbosch University and Elsenburg College - The 2 Empires when it comes to wine education - I studied at both..." Winemaker's note