Boplaas Gamka Branca – a Cape blend with Portuguese spice

Nov 23, 2017

The Gamka river – meaning lion in Khoi – starts its arduous journey towards the Indian ocean in the heart of the Great Karoo carving its way through three mountain ranges, all along the way providing life-giving water to all along its banks, including the farming endeavours of the Nel family of Boplaas who have crafted wines in the quaint hamlet of Calitzdorp since 1880.

With the launch of the maiden Gamka – Boplaas’s flagship Portuguese red blend – in 2014, the father and daughter winemaking duo of Carel and Margaux Nel have been planning on releasing a partner to this buxom age-worthy red. To bring their vision of this Cape white blend to fruition, a small vineyard of the Portuguese variety Verdelho was planted on Doornbosch in deep red Clovelly soils scattered with quartz.

The first few vintages of the Verdelho showed promise and with the 2016 vintage it was decided to separate a portion of free-run juice for fermentation in old French oak barrels. The Verdelho was then blended with barrel fermented and matured Chardonnay, Viognier, Grenache Blanc and old bush vine Swartland Chenin Blanc. Each of the components of the Gamka Branca was fermented in old French oak casks, allowed nine months of barrel maturation on fine lees prior to blending and bottling unfiltered.

The maiden release of the Branca – of which a mere 233 cases was crafted – has already managed to rack up a few accolades including an impressive 4 ½ Stars in Platter’s 2018 and 91 points from Tim Atkin MW in his 2017 South African report.

Gamka Branca – the lioness of the Boplaas pride – is a perfect accompaniment to grilled octopus or calamari steaks, fresh crustaceans or a spatchcock peri-peri chicken on the braai this festive season. This fine Cape white blend can be enjoyed immediately or confidently cellared for the next half decade. The Gamka Branca 2016 is available from our Boplaas Cellar Door in Calitzdorp and Klipheuwel, Klein Brak or on our online shop at, at R150 p/bottle.

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