We’re super excited to welcome the first of our wine partners on board for 2018’s #JoburgLovesWine events.
Without these guys’ passion, enthusiasm and… well… wine, the Joburg Wine Club would simply not exist.
So, be sure to support them whenever you have an opportunity and, if ever you find yourself in the winelands, do pay the farms a visit!
Now, with no further ado ladies and gentlemen:
Alto started out as part of a larger farm known as Groenrivier, first granted by Simon van der Stel in 1693. Although vines were planted from an early date in the farm’s history, they were not an important part of the farm’s produce until the farm was split in two and Alto established in the 1920s.
The estate’s sound reputation for producing world-class red wines can be ascribed, in part, to its excellent terroir. Located in the Stellenbosch Winelands, it is no coincidence that the area is known, locally, as the Golden Triangle. Alto has been world renowned for its hand crafted, bold red wines since 1922 when the first shipment of Alto Rouge was received in London to a rapturous response. Alto is all about powerful elegance, but the wines are approachable even when they are young, this is what makes the area so special.
Location: Just outside Stellenbosch, off the Annandale Road
Why you should visit: Known as South Africa’s iconic red wine estate, it’s a must-visit for anyone who enjoys the richness of red varietals and blends.
More info: Visit the Alto website
Back in the early 1940s, this 183ha farm was purchased by Woolworths co-founder Max Sonnenberg and has remained in the family ever since, these days belonging to his grandson, David. The first vines were planted by David’s father, Richard, in the 1970s and in 2000 David started producing wines.
Diemersfonteins’ maiden vintage (2001) won the Paul Sauer Trophy for a wooded Pinotage at the SA Young Wine Show, and today the Diemersfontein brand continues to enjoy the success in attaining numerous wine awards.
Location: Between Paarl and Wellington, in the shadow of the magnificent Hawekwa Mountain range and boasting a panoramic view of both Du Toit’s Kloof and Bains’ Kloof mountain ranges.
Why you should visit: Experience idyllic wine estate living, when you visit Diemersfontein for a weekend. You can stay either at the majestic Manor House, the quaint Garden Cottages overlooking the Diemersfontein gardens, or at the spacious Thokozani cottages. While there, be sure to visit the tasting room, where you are able to sample their full range of wines, including the Diemersfontein range, their Flagship Carpe Diem range, as well as the Thokozani Range.
More info: Visit the Diemersfontein website
Established by VOC’s Commander of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel in 1685, Groot Constantia is the oldest wine estate in South Africa. Throughout the centuries, the estate has made a name for itself as a producer of excellent wines and also became a favourite among global aristocracy - from Frederick the Great of Prussia to King Louis Phillipe of France. Back then, it was the legendary Grand Constance - a blend of red and white Muscat with a beautiful liquid amber colour - that had wine lovers falling over their feet for their fair share. Still available today, the grand dame now keeps company with a modern range of mostly reds, a few whites, a rosé or two and even a brandy.
Location: The well maintained estate is located in the heart of the leafy neighbourhood of Constantia, less than 45mins’ drive from Cape Town’s CBD. It offers magnificent views of the Table Mountain range, as well as glimpses of False Bay.
Why you should visit: If you’re fascinated by the history of wine in South Africa, there is no better place to explore and learn more than Groot Constantia. Experience everyday life in the 1600s while strolling through the original Cape Dutch Manor House, pay tribute to Grand Constance with a visit to the Cloete Cellar and browse through the wine museum.
The estate also offers two free audio walking tours of the vineyards and modern-day production cellar.
Finally, enjoy a glorious gastronomic experience with a tasting, followed by a meal at either Jonkershuis or Simon’s Restaurant.
More info: Visit the Groot Constantia website
From a small Durbanville property with nothing but a flock of 50 sheep, 2 cows and a sheepdog to one of South Africa’s most successful wine cellars, Nitida’s is truly a Cinderella story!
Owners, Bernhard and Peta Veller bought the farm in 1990 and 2 years later, planted a couple of vineyards (just enough for a few barrels). Well, within three years, they had produced a Sauvignon Blanc of such a high standard that it received a double-gold award and by 2001, Nitida was widely recognised as a benchmark Semillon producer.
Now 25 years on, this family owned and run cellar is one of the most consistently awarded and loved boutique wine cellars in South Africa with a host of double gold, gold and silver medals, a few 5 star platters and countless awards and certificates.
Location: You will find Nitida in the heart of the Durbanville Wine Valley, about 25km from Cape Town’s CBD.
Why you should visit: The picturesque estate is home to two beautiful restaurants – Cassia and Tables. At Cassia you will find simple meals, made with seasonal ingredients, while Tables offers an extensive menu for the whole family.
Nitida also offers delightfully intimate tasting experiences every day of the week. Because their tasting room is really cosy, it’s best to book your spot before going.
More info: Visit the Nitida website
Plaisir de Merle
Fleeing religious persecution in France, Charles Marais and his family set sail for the Cape in 1687 and settled at the Cape in the Groot Drakenstein Valley, where VOC Governor Simon van der Stel also granted them a piece of land in 1693. They named after the home town in France to which they would never be able to return, Le Plessis Marly.
Through various consolidations the modern Plaisir de Merle took shape, eventually passing by marriage to the Hugo family in the 19th Century and after several short tenures came under the ownership of Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery (now Distell) in 1964.
Location: Plaisir de Merle is located on the R45 between Simondium and Franschhoek.
Why you should visit: The estate is home to the amazingly maintained and magnificent old Manor House (built in 1764), which is beautiful to look at, but also offers accommodation, conferencing and wedding options.
Then, of course, there is the modern cellar - an architectural masterpiece where wood, water and stainless steel harmonise perfectly. It’s surrounded by a moat filled with Koi fish and also boasts a little watermill replica of the one built by Jacob Marais for his wife, Maria in 1730.
Wine tastings take place in the impressive cellar, making for an all-round exceptional experience.
Want to see these estates for yourself? Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you arrange an unforgettable winelands adventure!