IndustryThe Mauritian Wine Revolution

The Mauritian Wine Revolution

Saxenburg exports wines across the globe, and we make an effort to celebrate the diverse wine-drinking culture each country has to offer. One of our long-standing export partners is Oxenham based in Mauritius.

We interviewed their Communications and Brand Manager, Melissa, about an interesting overview of their country’s wine drinking culture and perception of Saxenburg wines.

How do your consumers perceive South African wines?

South Africa was among the first countries to export wine to Mauritius. Yet, Mauritians have always been relishing the great wines of Bordeaux and Bourgogne. Over time, South Africa grew into a destination of choice for the locals. Some travel for studies while others as tourists on the quest to discover the different wineries. Very often, back home, they reminisce and wish they could enjoy particular wines that they tasted and had access to in South Africa. At Oxenham, these requests are the basis for the ever-expanding selection of our products. Being so close to one another, the two countries are able to offer a wide range of wines that are both accessible and affordable. Today, South African wines are as much a part of Mauritian dining tables as are European wines.


How has the wine culture evolved in Mauritius?

Mauritians tend to be more inclined towards the sweeter side of the spectrum, so the fruity and sweet wines are more appealing to them. That being said, as their standard of living improved over the years, traveling became prevalent, ultimately exposing them to a wider selection of wines. As a result, these foreign trips contributed to enriching their wine culture while enhancing their palate. As of today, Red wine is the preferred choice: leisure wines, particularly rich in fruit and lightweight, given the climate. During the summer, they opt for the refreshing and floral whites, which are very aromatic.


What cultivars do Mauritian consumers enjoy the most?

We find that our customers especially like to consume fresh, easy-to-drink wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.  There was a time when Chardonnay became less appealing as the flavour was overly oaked for the local climate. However, lately, South African winemakers seem to have revisited their approach so as to wane off the oaky flavour. They are now judiciously using the barrels to produce a more elegant Chardonnay that features more pronounced fruit notes. When it comes to red wine, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are very popular, especially during the winter. There is of course the ” trend effect ” – the current sensation is the Pinot Noir, which pairs well with the local dishes.

What is in your opinion, a distinguishing factor about Saxenburg wines?

It is without a doubt a longstanding friendship that unites the Oxenham and Bührer families. We love and share the same values as we are both family-owned businesses. We value the importance that Saxenburg Wine Estate places on terroir and quality wines, and especially its spirit of innovation. A dynamic company that never settles for anything but the best, Saxenburg is constantly looking for ways to amaze its customers, a quality that we very much respect. Besides, as I already mentioned, the people of Mauritius are particularly fond of Shiraz, and the one from Saxenburg is simply exceptional.

Where can people purchase Saxenburg wines in Mauritius?

Le Connoisseur, our boutique wine shop, carries some of the most popular wines in the range. In addition, we distribute them to most hotels and restaurants across the country.

What wine traditions are well-known in your country?

We are a country open to the world by virtue of our many identities and our thriving tourism economy, but above all, we have a sense of celebration and hospitality. Despite the fact that historically we do not have a wine culture, since we neither have vineyards nor estates in Mauritius, wine has always been consumed by Mauritians. At Oxenham, we have been producing licensed wines for 85 years. We believe that at some point every Mauritian household has hosted and celebrated with our local brands. As the country progressed, so have the habits of those who upped their standard of living towards higher-end wines.

Are there special #SaxenburgMoments that consumers have shared with you about our wines?

The Winemaker’s Blend White from Saxenburg has received a lot of praise. We included it in our latest Quarterly Box, and our subscribers loved it! Following this success, we are eager to have them discover the red Winemaker’s Blend that we have just received along with the new white Semillon. We find it just as important to surprise our customers with new wines so as to cater to their specific preferences.

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