Say 'How To Say Simonsig'? Correctly
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A Quick Overview Of How To Say Simonsig
Simonsig is one of the premier wine farms in South Africa. It is situated in Stellenbosch in the Cape. Simonsig has a long history dating from the French Huguenot settlers who came to South Africa in 1688. The estate is one of very few that bottle and label on the farm. The main cultivars from this wine estate are: Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. Simonsig makes top South African wines which have gained world-wide recognition for their quality and excellence.
The word Simonsig is Dutch in origin. Dutch is the main basis for the language which was to become Afrikaans, which is how the name would be categorized today. Simon is pronounced differently than in English - use the phonetic spelling (hover over the color-coded words for more details) and audio to guide you. The 'g' at the end of Simonsig is pronounced like the 'ch' in 'loch' - US readers can also refer to the Spanish 'j' sound in 'Méjico' or 'jámon' for guidance. If you absolutely cannot get this guttural sound right, pronounce it as written in English. If you get 'Simon' right, you will be correct enough :) See below for more pronunciations from the Simonsig stable of wines.
What does Simonsig mean?
The literal translation of Simonsig is 'Simon's view'. Sig is the Afrikaans word for 'view' or 'sight'. It refers to the view of the Simonsberg mountains.
Top wines made by Simonsig
Simonsig was the first estate to make bottle-fermented sparkling wine in the Méthode Cap Classique style which is exactly the same way that Champagne is made. AOC regulations mean that only sparkling wines made and bottled in the area of Champagne with the 'Méthode Champenoise' may be called 'champagne', but this does not mean that sparkling wines from other countries do not rival and even exceed champagne in quality.
I'll let you in on a little secret: the French don't allow wine-makers from other countries to use the term 'Méthode Champenoise' on their sparkling wines, so in South Africa, the term 'Méthode Cap Classique' (pioneered by the late Frans Malan of Simonsig) is used instead. It's the same method used to make traditional champagne, and produces wines of comparable quality without the exhorbitant price-tags.
Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel (which means 'Cape's Sparkle' in Afrikaans is an outstanding sparkling wine. You pronounce Kaapse Vonkel as follows 'kaahp/s[e] FONG/k[e]l'. The audio pronunciation of Kaapse Vonkel is easy to follow.
Simonsig also makes a Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot under the name 'Adelberg' which means 'Noble Mountain' in Afrikaans. Adelberg pronunciation is quite straightforward once you remember that the 'a' has the long 'aah' sound in 'father', and the stress is on the first syllable. The audio pronunciation of Adelberg gives you the name as it sounds in Afrikaans followed by American English. More information can be found on the official Simonsig website simonsig.co.za
How to pronounce the address of Simonsig: Kromme Rhee Road, Koelenhof, Stellenbosch
An American reader asked me how to pronounce the directions to Simonsig wine estate, so I've added this information in a separate entry with audio and explanations here.