{wine} Balance conservation and lifestyle with Hank the elephant

Endangered animal conservation lies close to my heart. So when our favourite unicycle riding elephant, Hank from Balance Wines, speaks up to raise awareness on the plight of desert elephants, that’s when we make our ears big like Dumbo’s!

Introduction

I recently received a duo of Balance wines from their Classic range to review. Balance wines hold some of my first ever recollections and memories of my wine journey, as I’ve always admired this shapely, albeit somewhat unconventional, elephant on their labels.

All grown up, I now know this balancing elephant to be Hank, the mascot of Balance wines. More recently, Hank is also the spokesperson (spokes-elephant?!) spearheading their latest conservation efforts in the race against time to save the Southern Africa desert elephants.

Image credit: The Tall Hedonist, Timothy Gibson
Image credit: The Tall Hedonist, Timothy Gibson

Background

Balance has adopted the Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA) as a CSI initiative. For every bottle sold, a contribution is made to fund the EHRA PEACE project, an educational programme promoting the peaceful cohabitation of local communities with desert elephants in Southern Africa. The PEACE project empowers people in close proximity to wild elephants, with the necessary information to keep themselves, their families and livestock safe during elephant visits.

Taking the conservation of desert elephants even further, the upgraded Balance packaging uses digital technology linked to an exciting online game to support this initiative. Players stand a chance to win Balance Bucks, redeemable when purchasing wine at the Balance online store. A donation is made on their behalf to the EHRA PEACE project after successfully completing the final stage of the game (press release).

Wines

Keeping in the theme of a balancing act, Balance wines recently put on a new, more sleek attire, albeit still colourful and striking, and did some work on their wine ranges. Keeping up with current wine trends and consumer behavioural changes, they have upgraded their Winemaker’s Selection range and trimmed down their Classic Collection.

What does this mean for me? It means that their Classic Range is now even more accessible for your mid-week wine needs, without compromising on quality and feel. The range is made up of the very popular Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and two new wines, a young Sauvignon Blanc and a sweet Rosé. They have managed to achieve the perfect balancing act between beautiful lifestyle wines and your pocket

Balance Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Tasting notes: Rich ripe peach and juicy pineapple. The wine is beautifully complemented by crisp natural acidity.
In the vineyard:   The vineyards lie in deep red soils ensuring excellent water-retention and adding structure and fullness to the wines.

In the cellar: The wine was left on the gross lees where batonnage was applied for a week. It was then racked and left on the fine lees till right before bottling.
Cellar door price:   
approx. R47 per bottle for the Classic Range

Balance Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2018

Tasting notes:  Intense red hues, a well-structured velvety smooth wine with generous flavours of ripe berry and nut with a delightful hint of oak.
In the vineyard:  The season was characterised by healthy, full-flavoured grapes.
In the cellar: The grapes were cold soaked for two days. After traditional skin fermentation, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation.
Cellar door price:   approx. R47 per bottle for the Classic Range

The Balance Classic range is available countrywide or pop in at the Overhex Winery outside Worcester. The cellar door prices per bottle are R47 for the Balance Classic range, R62 for the Winemaker’s Selection white wines and R67 for the Winemaker’s Selection reds.

The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: To balance things out, I opted to pair both these deliciously accommodating wines with a seasonal treat of plum pastries. Beautifully rich, ripe, dark plums, drizzled with honey and sprinkles of brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon spice and blanketed in crispy puff pastry. The fruitiness of the Sauvignon Blanc balanced perfect with the tartness of the cooked plums, whilst the red blend picked up the deeper baked aromas of the spices.

In conclusion

I would bring these two wines with wherever good food will be served. They are generous and welcoming, and guaranteed to be crowd pleasers. And whilst we try and find the balance in life between working and playing, remember that you are also contributing to a very important and worthy cause when you purchase any of the Balance wines.

As much fun as Hank the elephant is, as much is he doing incredibly important work in raising awareness to the plight of the Southern African desert elephants. Your contributions will aid in training  local communities on how to co-exist peacefully alongside these gentle giants.

And if that’s not enough – if you haven’t played their new interactive game, you are sure missing out! Help Hank peddle his way back to his ancestral home in the desert, as he collects ingredients for wine-making along the way. You can win Balance bucks which translates into savings on your next online wine purchase. Plus, a donation is made on your behalf to the EHRA PEACE project after successfully completing the final stage of the game.

To win Balance Bucks and support the conservation of desert elephants, the Balance game can be played directly online at https://balance.wine on your smart phone or PC. The game can also be accessed through a QR code found on Balance wine bottles.

Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.

 

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