Amazing 11-year-old winemaker
Wine-loving SA family produces award winning wines and child winemaker.
Most children of her age are still enjoying toys, but 11-year-old Emma Martin in the Cape has a peculiar passion: winemaking. She recently enjoyed her 11th birthday, celebrating it with her family by launching her own remarkable Pinot Noir, according to Wine Times.

Of course it’s largely due to her family that she’s keen on winemaking, as she is now officially a fourth-generation winemaker.  Her expert winemaker father JC Martin reportedly guided her through the process, and she also enjoys the support of her mom, also a family winemaker.

Award-winning Creation Wines near Hermanus launched the wine on 16 July, Emma’s birthday. It’s a Pinot Noir said to be “a delightful bouquet of berries, hints of spice and whiffs of dried apricot. It is smooth yet complex on the palate where layers of dried fruit mingle with hints of raspberry and piquant spice”.

When is it ok for kids to drink?

It’s an unusual for a child to be passionate about wine, but not entirely unheard of. Some parents see wine tasting (in moderation, of course) as part of a broader education for a child, much like exposing the child to culinary challenges and arts and culture. Wine tasting has nothing to do with binge drinking or drinking unsupervised at parties.

Some schools even have wine tasting clubs which expose children to the different elements of wine tasting such as cultivars, vintages, nose and flavour.

According to the National Liquor Act 59 of 2003,

“The parent, adult guardian of a minor or a person responsible for administering a religious sacrament, may on occasion supply to that minor a moderate quantity of liquor to be consumed by the minor in the presence and under the supervision of that parent, guardian or other person”.

Of course, in a country where alcohol abuse is common and the legal age for drinking (besides the above regulation) is 18, parents should always ensure that their children are not consuming alcohol at unsupervised parties, for example. In addition, parents who allow their own children to sip wine at dinner are not allowed to supply to other minors.

*Always drink alcohol responsibly.

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Is it acceptable to expose children to wine tasting in moderation?

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