Goudini Cellar is proud to announce its Mirabilis range that was released in July this year in concurrence with the launch of a new book about Welwitschia mirabilis
Anyone who appreciates the remarkable ecology of desert environments and the uniqueness of Welwitschia mirabilis, the oldest plant on the African continent, would agree that the presence round these ancient extraordinary botanical wonders comprise an awareness of holy ground.
With the release of our Mirabilis reserve wine range in 2013, Goudini cellar is proud to be part of exceptional botanical celebrations.
Apart from the launch of the book, Welwitschia mirabilis, Uncrowned Monarch of the Namib, the GOUDINI Mirabilis wines furthermore celebrates the 100-year existence of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the opening of its Welwitschia-house and also the 150th anniversary of the naming of the unique Welwitschia plant.
Just as Welwitschia is considered a true flagship species of the Namib Desert, the GOUDINI Mirabilis wines are our most distinguished. It is for us an honour that our cellar’s best wines associate the Breede River Valley in the Western Cape of South Arica with ancient river valleys where Welwitschia mirabilis grows in Namibia and Angola.
The names of these two wines were given by Erma van Jaarsveld and relate to the noble Welwitschia mirabilis, Uncrowned Monarch of the Namib - uncrowned, because although the plant is essentially a tree, it does not have a crown.
Only a limited number of bottles of GOUDINI Mirabilis primus-capio (in Latin primus means "first" and capio means "to seize" - thus the most distinguished, or prince of red wines) and GOUDINI Mirabilis Regis-filia (meaning "the daughter of the king" in Latin - thus the princess of white wines) will be released every year.
For this wine range, the Haumann Small Design Studio in Stellenbosch designed remarkable labels which were inspired by botanical field notes of the plants. The labels truly celebrate the wonder of both the plant and wine. Being the prince, the red reserve is marked by the male cones, while the white reserve, the princess, carries the female cones.
The authors of the new book Welwitschia mirabilis, Uncrowned Monarch of the Namib, Ernst van Jaarsveld & Uschi Pond, provide the following brief description of the extraordinary Welwitschia mirabilis:
"With the family, genus and species all rolled into one, Welwitschia mirabilis is truly one of a kind. A rarity among rarities, it is found only in the Namib Desert extending from Namibia to Angola. Throughout the biological world and since the discovery of this bizarre Namib endemic in 1859, no other single plant has aroused the curiosity and attention of so many scientists. Welwitschia is the national plant of Namibia, and in Angola the coastal town of Tumboa bears the local name for Welwitschia. Welwitschia is a true flagship species of the Namib Desert and although not the prettiest, it is the most peculiar and advanced due to its amazing botanically engineered life form with an incredible capacity to survive the Namib desert environment. It is no small wonder that Welwitschia is one of the most researched desert plants in the world. This book explains not only where Welwitschia fits into the biotic world, but also its adaptations to a dry desert environment and its place in the Plant Kingdom. What makes this plant so unique, apart from being highly adapted to the Namib climate, is that it is a remnant of the past, representing a group of plants which flourished on earth some 125 million years ago. Welwitschia is thus a true living fossil! Welwitschia is estimated to grow to about 500 -1500 years old. It is striking in its morphology and physiology, placing it in a family of its own, the Welwitschiaceae. Welwitschia attracts botanists and naturalists from all over the world who come to observe it in its native habitat. Welwitschia is a protected plant. It grows in a rugged, harsh and starkly beautiful environment that leaves man spellbound!"
Top Left: A male Welwitschia mirabilis plant, growing near the Flamingo River, Angola.
Middle Left: Male Welwitschia plants carry pollen on male cones.
Top Right: A very old male Welwitschia mirabilis plant, growing in the bed of the ephemeral Messum River, Namibia.
The stem of this plant is approximately one metre high.
Bottom Left: Female Welwitschia plants do not flower, but carry their seeds in cones.
Bottom Right: The Welwitschia bug (Probergrothius sexpunctulata) is associated with the Welwitschia.
It preys on Welwitschia, however does not seem to have an adverse influence on the plants.
Ernst van Jaarsveld is a well-known, highly accomplished horticulturist of international standing. He has published widely and is a renowned specialist on succulents. Uschi Pond is known for her detailed approach to natural science and design, vividly expressed in this biography of a botanical ‘Monarch’.
Book orders may be placed directly with PENROCK PUBLICATIONS
Tel: +27 (0)79 181 9188
Postal: P O Box 12
Wine orders may be placed directly with GOUDINI WINES
Tel: +27 (0) 23 349 1090
Fax: +27 (0) 23 349 1095