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The Story Of Iona

In early 1997, Andrew Gunn, an engineer by training was contemplating his next career move. Having always loved the outdoors, the prospect of farming appealed to him and feeling young and energetic enough to start a new career, left the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg to begin the search for the ‘perfect’ farm.

After months of searching and 40 farm visits later, Andrew and a very tired estate agent stumbled upon a solitary run down apple farm on a mountain top overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The prospect of a suitable farm in Elgin intrigued Andrew and on driving through the valley, he became excited by the beauty of the area. Surrounded by the Kogelberg Biosphere and Forestry the property had no agricultural neighbours. The rolling hills and the drive up the mountain to where the farm was situated, 420 meters above sea level, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, was unlike anything he had ever seen. It was love at first sight.

As he drove in and stopped in front of a rather run down Herbert Baker homestead, he felt, “this is where I would like to live”, and the view from the front of the house overlooking the Elgin Valley below, made up his mind.

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Proceeding with care and gratitude in all that they do, Iona does in no way profess to be all things to all people, and in the endeavour to produce a fine glass of wine from this stunning farm, focuses on four quality wines; Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the One Man Band, an estate blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre and Viognier.

The philosophy at Iona is to make wine that expresses the soils and climate as closely as possible, making use of sustainable farming methods and to maximise the use of natural products in farming and winemaking. Everything is done in-house. From the vineyard to the wine distribution, for Andrew and Rozy, the owners, Iona is the sole source of their focus, passion and great joy.

Choosing Your Wedding Wine

Much attention goes into the details of all other aspects of a wedding, from the venue, to the dress, to gifting, to food and flowers, and often this attention doesn’t follow through to the selection of the wines.

Sadly, by not paying attention to the careful selection of wines to reflect the atmosphere and theme of one’s wedding, it ultimately detracts from the full enjoyment of the meal.

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Top Tips:

Ultimately- one should choose crisp, fresh, dry white wines that would compliment an array of food types. Opt for Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin, Unwooded Chardonnays or a blend of these varietals, that usually work best. Sauvignon Blanc is still SA’s favourite and most widely drunk wine, and is great to pair with food. If you're having a summer wedding, remember that Sauvignon Blanc is very well suited to for our local weather and climate.

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And For The Reds:

For the reds- choose an easy drinking, accessible medium bodied wine. For example Merlot and Shiraz and a blend of these varietals, are guaranteed to keep your guests happy.

Advice From Iona on Price Point:

We understand wedding expenses can seem like a never-ending list and often one chooses a wine because it's cheap or cheaper than alternatives (and we all know that ever penny counts)

If you’re catering for a wedding of 60 guests, you will require approximately 45 bottles of wine and champagne in total. This could equate to around 18 bottles of white wine max, so if you're choosing a bottle of wine under around R50, the total would be R900 for an entry-level selection.

If one chose Sophie, they would pay max R80/bottle, and R70 incl. VAT on our trade price, and instead get a wine that would be so much more enjoyable and enhance the whole experience of the wedding for as much as an extra R540!

R540 rand is a pittance in context of the spending for a wedding, so we say it's well worth paying the extra little amount for a higher quality wine.

An the same applies for bubbles and red, of course!

Find out more about Iona here: www.iona.co.za

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