Saturday, March 30, 2013

La Concorde house of Iconic South African red blend Roodeberg since 1949

Dominus Estate Napa Valley 2007 91+ Points

The 2007 vintage is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot, showing a ruby red with slight purple rim.

Clean, high intensity, still youthful with blackberries, dark cherries and red plums, earthy with just the perfect oak influence.

Dry with moderate plus acidity, fresh high tannin lending a ripe grip, fruit follows through, lifted by the high alcohol of 14% abv, juicy and broad texture, creamy, need time, best from 2018+ until 2023+

2006 Groot Constantia Estate Gouverneurs Reserve 90 Points

Garnet hue with slight brown rim.

Clean, high intensity with ripe complex layers if dark red fruits, cassis liqueur, complex oaking.
Dry with moderate plus acidity, fresh and elegant, full ripe texture with moderate plus alcohol of 13.5% abv, excellent purity of fruit follows through, plush tannins, cedar wood complexity, vanilla, spicy pepper farewell, persistent. Now until 2020

Diamond Ridge Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Franc Malbec 2008 83 Points

Ruby red with garnet reflections and brown towards the rim, showing evolution.

Clean, reductive possibly due to the screwcap closure, lending a moderate intensity with some green peppery edge, slightly herbaceous with hints of pyrazine character, just ripe currant, cassis and plums, wet earth, spicy oak.

Dry with dash residual sugar, leafy edge follows through, delicately juicy, red fruits fading, fresh with moderate plus acidity yet this is a full bodied red with high alcohol of 14% abv, crunchy moderate tannins, good lenght. Drink now until 2014.

Diamond Ridge wines is exclusively available through Checkers at R 80/bottle


                                                 Dr Charles Niehaus founder of Roodeberg

Santa Cristina Toscana IGT 2011 82 Points

A blend 60 % Sangiovese and 40% between Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah showing a ruby red with purple rim.
Clean, low intensity, initially highly reductive suppressing dark ripe plums and mulberries note, hints of dark cherries, but did opened up after 24 hours aeration! brush of earthy elements, neutral oak influence.

Dry with moderate plus acidity, fresh with savory note, hints of black olives, delicately juicy dark red fruits follows through, moderate tannins, good grip, moderate plus alcohol of 13.5% abv, medium bodied.

Will be the perfect glass / bottle with your weekly spaghetti Bolognaise.
Drink now until 2015

Available exclusively at Checkers at R 80/bottle.

For reference the first vintage of Santa Cristina was produced by Marquis Niccolò Antinori, father of Piero Antinori, in 1946.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Roodeberg heritage through images

Roodeberg South Africa's best known red blend, enjoying loyal worldwide supports was created by Dr Charles Niehaus in 1949, a proud heritage deeply entrenched in the wine history of South Africa, a rare attribute indeed.

Visitors registry at 1Roodeberg

Roodeberg Vintage Collection 1

Roodeberg Vintage Collection 2

Dr Charles Niehaus Founder of Roodeberg

A great South African red wine needs an equally fine cigar to complement it's appreciation, here Romeo & Julieta Cigars in the Roodeberg room.

Roodeberg lounge 1

Coat of arm

Hand crafted candle holder

Chandeliers from the Roodeberg room

Roodeberg labels evolution through times, here the modern labels

Roodeberg lounge 2 from a different angle

Typewriter use by Dr Charles Niehaus

Dr Charles Niehaus

Dr Charles Niehaus

Other Chandeliers in the room

Horloge in Roodeberg room


Iconic South African wine Roodeberg has revealed the next exciting step in its stylistic evolution with the unfurling of its latest vintage.

The 2011 vintage emerged from a challenging growing and harvest season. The grape quality in general however, was superb. The wine spent 12 months in oak, mainly French, before being bottled.

The blend comprises 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder occupied chiefly by Shiraz, and Merlot. Delighting the senses, Roodeberg 2011 is an elegant and fresh red wine lush with aromas of raspberry, red cherry and mulberry, and just a touch of spice.

The palate is beautifully layered and smooth with well integrated, silky tannins and a lingering finish.
Roodeberg is the well-loved South African red wine from leading premium wine producer KWV.  It has been a part of South Africa’s wine heritage since 1949, beloved on home soil as much as it is on tables in foreign continents too.

Yet, in spite of its historic pedigree, Roodeberg remains relevant and more popular than ever in a modern world. The reason, says KWV chief winemaker Richard Rowe, is the timeless guiding philosophy that sustains it.

“We are very mindful that we’re only temporary custodians of this brand; that it was placed in our hands by those who came before us and will be passed on to the next generation too. To us, the Roodeberg heritage is being built to last not for decades, but for centuries.”

To achieve this, KWV recognises the wine evolves to ensure enduring quality, stylistic relevance and value for money. As a premium export-driven wine, Roodeberg is equipped with the fundamentals of global players.

“Technology and techniques change and we’re careful to analyse international situations and conduct international benchmark tastings to keep on top of trends and flavours,” says Rowe.

The quest for quality begins in the vineyards. Says KWV chief viticulturist Marco Ventrella: “When it comes to Roodeberg we understand that we are working with a wine beloved for decades and our approach must be about consistency, focus and quality. Our growers are long term contracted. In fact, most of the vineyards were planted and planned specifically for Roodeberg.”

The viticulturists spend time in the vineyards with the growers and are joined by the winemakers during the ripening period to monitor and make harvesting decisions. “We leave nothing to chance. Our growers are our partners in the brand and the wine,” says Ventrella.

In the cellar, this has meant that through the application of modern winemaking techniques, the Roodeberg winemaking team relentlessly works at improving quality. This is a pursuit where the goal of over-delivery means every vintage has to be better than the previous one.

It is these partnerships that have seen Roodeberg grow to the prominence it enjoys today – an innovative wine brand that continues to surprise and delight.

Roodeberg is available from leading retailers of fine wines nationwide, RRSP:  R69.95

KWV is one of the leading wine and spirits producers in South Africa. Its head office is located in Paarl, in the Western Cape – a top wine producing region. The company sources wines and grapes from the best and most sought-after viticultural regions in South Africa. KWV is known internationally for brands such as Roodeberg, KWV wines, Laborie, Golden Kaan, Cathedral Cellar, Café Culture, Wild African Cream and the KWV 3, 5, 10 and 20 Year Old brandies.

KWV is a founder member of the Industry Association for Responsible Use of Alcohol (ARA).

Champagne Charles de Cazanove Brut Rose NV 91+ Points

15% Chardonnay, 50 % Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 15% Côteaux Champenois red wine, showing a bright pale salmon hue.

Clean, delicate red berries, Pinot Noir complexity evident, mineral core with subtle touch of oak.
Properly Brut, linear and focus with high acidity, fine line, savory with saline note,textured, persistent, lots of character.

Exclusive to Checkers nationwide at R 220/bottle, best priced Champagne rose, currently in South Africa

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Roodeberg launches 1ROODEBERG, their exclusive members club

Roodeberg is a name known to wine lovers around South Africa and the world, steeped in history and tradition and synonymous with quality and exclusivity.  To celebrate its rich heritage; Roodeberg is proud to announce the launch of 1ROODEBERG, their members-only brand room at the wine’s home in Paarl.

In an era where the artisanal and the handmade are cherished, the unique red blend of Roodeberg celebrates the artistic spirit of the winemakers who are devoted to creating the perfect union of palate and aroma.

1ROODEBERG provides the platform for this spirit, bringing the story of the brand to life through a unique converging between old and new. In the space that once served as KWV’s director’s reception hosting both dignitaries and celebrities; velvet, leather and wooden textures reflect Roodeberg’s long history of stature and elegance. 

The impressive chandelier is constructed out of antique light fittings from the original room, and decanters and historic photographs of KWV personalities and key international stakeholders, line the walls.

An innovative new interactive tablet application adds a contemporary dimension to this experience, as visitors are taken on a virtual journey through the history of Roodeberg. This digital experience continues once our members are back in their own living rooms, as the digital platform will keep them connected to the latest news, events and special offerings.

“1ROODEBERG is a place that its members will call home – whether it be hosting friends for exclusive tastings of Roodeberg products only available to the club, intimate dinners in the private dining room, or just a relaxed evening with friends and a few cigars,” says De Bruyn Steenkamp, Roodeberg Brand Director. 

The club will be limited to 500 guests, each personally invited, and this small group will represent the people that consider Roodeberg a part of their personal heritage. 

It is a space which allows us to embrace the finer things in life –- celebrating timeless heritage in union with forward-thinking craftsmanship.

For more information and club benefits, please contact

Cranswick South Eastern Australia Lakefield Chardonnay 2012 85 Points

Pale straw with green reflections.
Clean, moderate plus intensity, lemony burst, white peach, pears, excellent purity of fruit, brush of oak.

Dry with dash residual sugar well offset by bright moderate acidity, fresh, gentle texture with honeyed mid palate, juicy and elegant, with moderate alcohol of 13% abv, table friendly, well made drink now until 2015.
R 60/bottle at Checkers nationwide

Will be perfect with a grilled gurnard SASSI green lists.

Diamond Ridge Gisborne Chardonnay 2010 83 Points

My first encounter with a Gisborne Chardonnay was way back in 2001 and this example just brought back memories, there is something specific with Gisborne Chardonnay, their airy style, a certain lightness that may be confused as insipid, yet not the case at all, in fact they are one of the most European of all New World Chardonnay, not necessarily Burgundian type, but a confident austerity.

This Diamond Ridge is another offering from Checkers as part of their international collection, nationwide at R 70 a bottle this is a good if you like a “Chablis” style white.
Pale straw with bright yellow green reflections, color shows slight evolution.

Clean, moderate intensity, recognizable as a Gisborne Chardonnay, delicate citrus, stone fruits and melon with subtle mineral quartz note, faintest brush of oak.

Dry with moderate plus acidity, textured, focus and fresh with moderate alcohol of 13% abv, medium bodied with juicy fruits follows through, probably at peak now until end 2014+

Feast of Shiraz & Charcuterie returns to Hartenberg Wine Estate

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Kick the cold weather to the curb by revelling in some of South Africa’s finest Syrahs from leading cellars paired with an array of meaty indulgencies at the annual Feast of Shiraz & Charcuterie at Hartenberg Wine Estate on Saturday, 1 June 2013. 

Carl Schultz, celebrated winemaker at Hartenberg, widely regarded as one of South Africa’s oldest and leading producers of Shiraz for almost 40 years, has invited a select group of winemakers to present their cellar gems at this indulgent day of Shiraz and Charcuterie. They will be joined by some of the best local charcuterie masters, cheese makers and olive enthusiasts that will bring foods to life to entice palates and complement this hardy varietal.

“Shiraz and charcuterie is a classic combination; the robust flavours created when curing or smoking meat complements Shiraz superbly. This festival is meant for everyone, whether you are a novice wanting to try something new or wine connoisseur on the hunt for fresh discoveries,” says Carl, who celebrates his 20th harvest at Hartenberg this year and has played an integral part in the estate’s Shiraz success story.

As the home of the world’s No. 1 Shiraz, The Stork 2008 as declared by Syrah du Monde in 2012 there is no better place to experience this varietal first hand than at Hartenberg Wine Estate.

The Feast of Shiraz & Charcuterie @ Hartenberg takes place on Saturday, 1 June 2013 from 12h00 noon until 17h00. Tickets cost R180 per person, including a tasting glass and are available online at For more information, call Tel: (+27)84 207 3820,

Hartenberg Estate is situated on the Bottelary Road off the R304 to Stellenbosch. (

Cranswick South Eastern Australia Lakefield Shiraz Cabernet 2011 88 Points

If you are looking for a juicy red wine filled with personality and upfront, ripe dark plums, mulberries and dark cherries, with a touch of smoky dark chocolate look no further, at R 60/bottle from Checkers nationwide, this Australian blend of 90%Shiraz and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon will do the job, very well.

Ruby red with slight garnet rim.
Clean, ripe dark red fruits medley, good purity of fruit, spicy oak.

Dry with dash residual sugar well offset by moderate acidity, juicy with full and round texture, savory, low tannins, plush, medium plus bodied with moderate alcohol of 13% abv, table friendly, persistent length.

Will be perfect with a mixed grill platter of Checkers Steakhouse Classic

Roodeberg Western Cape White 2012 87 Points

Tasted for the first time yesterday at the launch of 1Roodeberg wine club at their headquarters in Paarl, a Sauvignon Blanc driven blend made exclusively for export, but may be available locally and exclusively for the members of 1Roodeberg, South Africa's coolest wine club.

Pale white with green tinge, grassy, gooseberries, tropical fruit note, delicately textured with spicy and peppery nuance, juicy and fresh with vibrant acid, refreshing and classy, table friendly, shared with friend, buy by the case loads!

South African winemakers and owners are the coolest on this planet

This is why South African winemakers and owners are the coolest on this planet, click on the link below to see what Jordan WineEstate of Stellenbosch did … on the busiest day of 2013 harvest at the end of last week!

Roodeberg Western Cape Rose 2012 89 Points

Tasted for the first time yesterday at the launch of 1Roodeberg wine club at their headquarters in Paarl, a Shiraz driven blend made exclusively for export, but may be available locally and exclusively for the members of 1Roodeberg wine club.

South Africa has an ideal climate to enjoy a focus and well made Rose anytime with or without food and with or without friends! The perfect tipple at lunchtime over the week end for those lucky enough not to work! Of course will be perfect anytime, after work, as an aperitif, with tapas or just around a cozy fire place or a braai with friends, yet not to forget item number one in a picnic basket, the options are endless, let your imagination flow.

The Roodeberg Rose is a clean, crisp and dry Rose, that is juicy and full flavored, fill with personality, charming and table friendly, this is a top notch South African Rose perfect for European spring and summertime, cheers

Waterkloof releases 2012 vintage of its famed dry rosé

Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvèdre the epitome of elegance

Waterkloof Estate’s commitment to sustainable wine farming ethics, yields rosy results for this awe-inspiring cellar on the elevated outskirts of the Helderberg Winelands, which is evident in the latest 2012 vintage of its elegantly dry rosé – Cape Coral Mourvèdre – the blushing pride of the estate’s expressive Circumstance collection.

This internationally famed rosé with its pale coral hue, is made with serious intent and shows great harmony, with a decidedly more masculine character and persistence than one might expect from a pink drink.

The newly released Circumstance Cape Coral 2012 is a sophisticated rosé that is not overly fruity with a dry, yet firm character and delicate spicy nuances. Sensual red fruit, spice and some earthiness linger with great persistence, ending with a tight, dry finish, whilst the herbaceous flavours becoming more prominent as the wine ages.

The hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed Mourvèdre grapes used for this luminous rosé, stem from the Stellenbosch region, characterised by mild winters and long hot summers, with the vines planted in cool, deep red soils which provide adequate water for this late ripening variety.

Waterkloof follows time-honoured traditional winemaking techniques in its state-of-the-art gravitational cellar and in their pursuit of more individually styled wines, the team relied on natural, wild yeast fermentation which took five months to complete. The wine was left on the primary lees for another five months to add further complexity before bottling.

Its fruity yet drier taste makes the Circumstance Cape Coral 2012 a versatile wine from a drinking and food pairing point of view. It is quintessentially the chosen accompaniment for seafood indulgences such as sushi, crayfish and crab and also stands up well to mild curries and spicy Thai cuisine. Vegetarians will love it with light mushroom dishes such as a fresh herb and truffle infused tagliatelle.

Rosé aficionados can get the Circumstance Cape Coral 2012 – selling from R85 per bottle – at the Waterkloof cellar, selected wine outlets and leading fine dining restaurants.

For more information or wine orders contact Waterkloof Estate at Tel: 021 858 1292 or
visit Waterkloof Wines 

Exclusive Clos Malverne wines now a virtual reality

‘Online cellar’ provides access to award-winning, handcrafted wines

Clos Malverne winemaker Suzanne Coetzee

Family-owned Clos Malverne Wine Estate, renowned for its repertoire of classic, handcrafted wines stemming from the picturesque Devon Valley outside Stellenbosch, has spruced up its online wine sales facility for all wine enthusiasts to gain access to its exclusive cellar.

“If you want to impress your friends at the dinner table with an elegant, handmade wine of uncompromised quality which you cannot buy at any supermarket or wine outlet then look no further than our convenient online wine shop where you can find an exceptional range of award-winning wines at a click of a button and delivered to your doorstep in no time,” shares Clos Malverne winemaker Suzanne Coetzee, guardian of both the vines and the cellar since 2010.

Once dubbed the Cape’s smallest red wine cellar, Clos Malverne has come a long way from its fledging days in 1986 when the first wine was made under its own label – a mere 800 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon. However, over the years owner Seymour Pritchard has stayed true to a time-honoured winemaking tradition and today his cellar is one of the few wineries that still uses traditional basket presses – a soft and gentle way of extracting grape juices most commonly used in champagne production. In addition the vines are hand cultivated, the grapes hand harvested and open top fermentation tanks are used in the cellar.

“The basket press demands dedication in time and labour but produces the softest wines with delicate tannins, dominant, fragrant fruit nuances and longevity due to the slow and gentle pressing. Every splendid drop of Clos Malverne wine is made with dedicated care, craftsmanship and patience and we pride ourselves in quality consistency. One should never be nervous to open a 10 year old bottle of Clos Malverne,” adds Suzanne.

Clos Malverne is primarily known for its classic flagship Cape Blends – the Auret, an age worthy contribution of the outstanding qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage and Merlot and its Pinotage Reserve which boasts an impressive track record. It is also making waves with its single best seller, Sauvignon Blanc, which sealed a second consecutive victory for its 2011 vintage at the 2012 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition.

All Clos Malverne wines are exclusive to the cellar or high-class restaurants only, but with the new virtual wine shop one can gain access to the entire range which is available for online purchase. First time buyers get a 10% percent discount and if one bags more than three cases of wine the door to door delivery is complimentary (in South Africa).

Visitors can also buy the wines directly from Clos Malverne’s tasting lounge and restaurant – in fact one actually gets a discount on them if you buy after your dining experience. With its stunning setting amidst the vineyards and breathtaking views of the picturesque Devon Valley, The Restaurant @ Clos Malverne is the perfect retreat to spend a soul-quenching afternoon under the trees, linger over lunch on the wraparound glass balcony or simply to pamper the senses on chilly, rainy days.    

To order your Clos Malverne wines online click on or contact the estate at Tel: (+27)21 865 2022 for more information.


After capturing the Best Brandy title at the New York International Spirits Competition late last year, luxury South African brandy producer, Oude Meester has returned from the San Francisco International Spirits Competition with a trio of medals.  The most senior of the potstills in the range, the exclusive 18-year-old Souverein won gold, while both the 12 Year Old Reserve, that took the trophy in New York and Demant was awardedsilver.

"South African brandy has established a powerful reputation in the UK and Europe but our connoisseur offerings are still something of a novelty in the US. Since Oude Meester's exposure to American trade and consumers last year in New York, market response has been extremely encouraging. Connoisseurs are thrilled by the sense of discovery and the levels of excellence they are encountering in a specialty segment of the deluxe brandy market hitherto unknown to them," said global marketing spokesperson, Lee-Anne Lotz.

"Now we have had another panel, this time from the West Coast, favourably assessing our entries. Judges were drawn from amongst well-respected spirits buyers and consultants representing high-end restaurants and hotels, mainstream outlets, as well as spirits journalists.  Their vote of confidence in Oude Meester suggests very exciting market potential for the brand in the US, coast to coast."

The Oude Meester range is inspired by Benjamin Franklin, famous US statesman and one of America’s founding fathers, who also excelled as a scientist, inventor and musician.

For more on Oude Meester, please go to, or  Or follow the brand on twitter (@oudemeestersa). 


Du Toitskloof Merlot

When the air turns crisp and the leaves brown, most of us yearn for a fuller bodied red wine. Try the newly released 2012 Du Toitskloof Merlot which will make Autumn seem not quite so dreary. 

The wine is aged for 10 months in French oak resulting in a light smokiness that complements the ripe mulberry and mint flavours and hint of chocolate on the aftertaste. Enjoy this rich wine with mushroom risotto, roast beef, steak or smoked fish.

The wine is available from leading supermarkets and wine shops and retails for around R40
per bottle.

Enjoy singular Pongrácz chocolate pairing at Val de Vie Market

Sunday, 7 April, 10h00 – 15h00, The Market at Val de Vie

Seize the moment with an exclusive pairing of Pongrácz and fine, handmade chocolates at The Market at Val de Vie near Paarl on Sunday, 7 April.

Visitors will be treated to a singular taste experience of three specially fashioned chocolates custom-made to bring out the unique flavour profile of Pongrácz, Pongrácz Rosé and the award winning signature Desiderius Pongrácz.

The taste experience starts off with the flirtatious and lively Pongrácz Rosé and a delicate Rose Geranium milk chocolate. The smooth cocoa and milk chocolate adds a hint of sweetness and lifts the fresh berry notes of the seductive Cap Classique. The romantic embrace of pure roses as the rose geranium flavour of the chocolate infuses into the Rosé leaves a delightfully refreshing and lusciously invigorating finish.

Next up, the crisp Pongrácz stalwart is paired with a velvety Roasted Almond and Lime white chocolate. The roasted almonds accentuate the biscuit and baked bread nuttiness whilst the lime lifts the fresh citrus and zest of the Pongrácz. Savour the full fruit and complexity of this delightful Cap Classique with all the flavours in perfect harmony.

An irresistible Hot Plum white chocolate is the alter ego of the luxurious prestige cuvée, Desiderius Pongrácz 2003. The chocolate, with its full fruit on the nose and warm, tingling cayenne pepper on the palate, embraces this charismatic signature Cap Classique. A melding of flavours with great complexity, this combination is a wonderful mouthful of smooth creaminess and an explosion of tastes erupting in stages. The finish is divinely elegant and keeps the palate yearning for more. 

A Pongrácz and oyster tasting will also be on offer at this not-to-be missed event.

The Pongrácz and chocolate pairing costs R50 per person. The Market at Val de Vie, a fresh goods and craft market, showcases some of the finest local produce from the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley. It provides the ideal platform for vendors to promote their wares and grow their businesses, in a beautiful setting that is recognised as one of South Africa’s top destinations.

The Market at Val de Vie takes place from 10h00 to 15h00 on alternate weekends during April and May. The next market dates are: 7 April, 14 April, 19 May and 26 May 2013.

Visit For more on Pongrácz, visit, Facebook or follow @Pongracz on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ogier Cotes du Rhone Heritages 2011 92 Points

This is another great buy from Checkers stores nationally at R60 bottle, you simply do not get a Cotes du Rhone red at a better price in South Africa, currently and quality from a producer that has been around since 1859.

Produced by Antoine Ogier, negociant in Chateauneuf du Pape.

This is a juicy and powerful blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah (Shiraz) and Mourvedre blend, showing a bright ruby red with slight purple rim.

Clean, very good typicity and recognizable as a Cotes du Rhone, lifted with moderate plus intensity, good purity of fruits, plums, mulberries, dark cherries with a delicate spicy core, pebbly minerals, subtle oaking and hints of vanilla pods

Dry with moderate plus acidity, fresh and precise with dark red fruits follows through, moderate tannins, plush texture with spicy edge, peppery, juicy and elegant, lots of finesse and savouriness, powerful and not shy of it's very high alcohol of 14.5 % abv, yet smartly integrated.

This will be perfect with your Easter braai fresh rosemary and mustard rubbed lamb chops.Now until 2017+

Checkers also have the Ogier Cotes du Rhone Les Menines at around R 45/bottle

Charles de Cazanove Tete de Cuvee Tradition Brut 89+ Points

From a Champagne that has been around since 1811, comes this blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 10% Chardonnay, showing a pale straw with delicate fine mousse.
Clean, quite yeasty initially, with aeration reveals more yellow stone fruits, baked citrus, honey, brush of oak. good definition and typicity.

Properly Brut in style with a fairly high dosage (probably around 10+ grams sugar/liter) fresh, focus and precise with high acidity lending a crisp structure, elegant, textured with perfect alcohol of 12% abv, less yeasty on palate than nose may suggest, good lenght, a bargain at R 199, Champagne exclusive to Checkers.

To learn more about Charles de Cazanove Champagne house

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Harvest season finally in full swing at Constantia Glen

Harvest 2013

The harvest is finally in full swing at Constantia Glen, one of the jewels of the Constantia Wine Valley, a remarkably cool appellation where the grapes usually take several weeks longer to reach their full potential than other warmer wine growing regions.

Known for their cool climate Sauvignon Blancs and elegant Bordeaux style reds, Constantia Glen owes its ideal growing conditions to the close proximity to the sea and elevated position just below Constantia Nek.

“Our harvest was delayed further due to the late onset of spring. Very cool temperatures towards the end of winter tend to remain in the deep, rich soils a little longer than in other regions. With these cool soils, the growth of the vines is quite slow to begin with at the beginning of spring. The most rampant vine growth happens in November and December once the soil has warmed up,” explains winemaker Justin van Wyk.

Very deep, rich soils, comprising half decomposed sandstone and half decomposed granite and situated on a clay base, make the dry land vineyards at Constantia Glen grow optimally without the need for any irrigation and the vineyards experience very little stress that could force ripening.

“On the contrary, they allow for very slow, even ripening,” adds Justin, noting that the 2013 harvest is expected to wrap up by the end of April, mirroring the previous harvest.

Constantia Glen’s cool climate allows just a moderate increase in sugar levels during the ripening phase and this facilitates the even ripening of the tannins and flavours in the grapes without incurring the debt of too high sugar levels at optimum ripeness.

Constantia Glen has 30% of the farm planted to Sauvignon blanc and Semillon and the rest to the five classic Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Constantia Glen is open daily from 10h00 till 17h00 on week days and from 10h00 till 16h00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Look out for the Constantia Glen signs towards the top of Constantia Main road. Call 021-7956100, e-mail  visit or follow @ConstantiaGlen on Twitter. The GPS co-ordinates are S 34º 0’39.6” E 18º 24’30.6”.