Delaire Graff Estate, South Africa – Part ll Wine Tasting

History
The estate was founded in 1679 by Simon van der Stel. Simon brought with him a sound knowledge of viticulture. In 1982 John Platter (wine writer) purchased the estate which was then known as Avontuur. Looking at the magnificent view, John decided to rename the wine farm Delaire Estate, meaning “From the Sky”. Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International acquired the estate in 2003 and vowed to transform it into South Africa’s most desirable art, hospitality and wine destination. In just three years the estate was rated one of the top ten wine producers in South Africa.

The Estate
The estate currently owns 20 hectares of vineyards which are located on the slopes of Botmaskop Mountain. The vines benefit from a north-facing aspect as well as high-altitude and maritime influences. Winemaker Morné Vrey produces excellent red blends dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, with impressive single block Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, a 100% Cabernet Franc rosé, and some supremely elegant vintages.

It is interesting to note that Delaire Graff Estate wines rank among the most prestigious in the Southern Hemisphere, where their cutting-edge 450-ton gravity-fed Estate winery is a celebration of both old and new.

After a lengthy tour of the “Owner’s Villa” we headed to the main building walking through breathtaking landscaped gardens, stunning sculptures, and art.  It’s interesting to note that the gardens have over 350 indigenous plants, exotic plants and flowers.

Once inside I had to ask …. for a brief visit to the Graff Diamonds store as it begs for further investigation. Once inside (no photos allowed) it was certainly the ultimate experience — so many enticing pieces and iconic stones were on display. I felt like I was inside a beautifully designed jewelry box.

After a twenty-minute conversation with the Assistant Manager on Graff Diamond’s history, we headed off to the Delaire Graff Tasting Room.

On route, we came across Laurence Graff’s recent acquisition the original of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s ‘Chinese Girl’, which is currently displayed at the entrance of the winery. This is said to be one of the most recognizable paintings in the world.

Delaire Graff Tasting Room
The Tasting Room offers incredible mountain and vineyard views. The sommeliers were quite knowledgeable on South African wines, and their service was quite intuitive – this is certainly hospitality at its best!

Delaire Graff Estate Wines Tasted

Delaire Graff Estate ‘Sunrise’ Brut MCC 

The Backstory
This wine was named after the magnificent 118.08 carat “Delaire Sunrise Diamond” the largest square emerald cut fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Method: Traditional Method
Dosage: Brut
Blend: 58% Chenin Blanc, 34% Chardonnay & 8% Cabernet Franc

Tasting Notes
Light yellow gold in colour; a stream of fine and persistent bubbles; with green apple and melon dominating the nose; the palate shows finesse and intensity, some citrus flavours [lemon and grapefruit] along with toasty brioche; zesty and fresh – elegantly balanced; lovely long yeasty citrus finish.

The Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut MCC spoils the eye with its radiant, golden colour and unquestionably lives up to its name!
92/100

2022 Delaire Graff Estate Rose Cabernet Franc

The Backstory
This unique Rosé is handpicked and gently pressed to obtain the perfect, subtle salmon pink hue.  This wine is also a Delaire Graff Estate employee favorite.

Alcohol: 13.5%
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc

Tasting Notes
Medium-intensity salmon in color; has aromas of strawberry, red plum, dark berries with a hint of candy floss; a creamy and structured palate with layered flavours of fresh strawberry, red berries, cassis, and a seductive spicy finish.
92/100

2021 Delaire Graff Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay (Estate)

Backstory
Winemaker Morné Vrey is committed to meticulous vineyard management.  The grapes are handpicked, whole bunch pressed, fermented, and matured in small French oak barrels for 10 months.

Alcohol: 13.6%
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay

Tasting Notes
The wine is a buttery yellow hue; complex aromas of citrus, peaches, concomitant spice, vanilla and salted butter; The palate repeats the aromas with to a long lingering finish.
94/100

2019 Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Reserve Merlot

Backstory
These wines come from the oldest vineyards on the Estate.  These wines are a raconteur weaving the tale of the property’s humble beginnings. Expressions of the site’s splendor, with its rich earthiness and bountiful fruit. These Single Vineyard wines are also handpicked and are matured in 80% new French oak for 16 months.  Vinification – extensive sorting of the grapes formed part of the quality management process. The grapes were de-stemmed only, not crushed, to ensure gentle extraction of fruit flavours.

Alcohol: 14.5 %
Varietal: 100% Merlot

Tasting Notes:
Firm and well balanced, this Merlot is characterized by spice, dark plum and dark red berry flavours and aromas whilst silky, ripe tannins with a long and lingering finish; a luxurious elegant wine.
93/100

Conclusion
What an extraordinary experience to sip Delaire Graff terroir-specific award-winning wines with these stunning views of the Winelands and being surrounded by Laurence Graff’s personal art collection.

From Laurence Graff’s own words

“Delaire means ‘from the sky’, and the wines we craft here are an invitation to savour this unique piece of heaven and earth in Stellenbosch.”
Laurence Graff

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Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Part 1 The Owner’s Villa

I recently had the distinct pleasure of having a personal tour of Laurence Graff’s private villa also known as “Owner’s Villa” at Delaire Graff Estate. The Owners Villa is also available to rent out (by application) if available for $25,000 USD/night.

The estate is anchored on the vineyard slopes of Botmanskop, high above the Helshoogte Pass (which links Stellenbosch to Franschhoek), The estate offers a stunning 360-degree view in which Table Mountain can be seen to the west, and Franschhoek to the east. There are absolutely stunning views wherever you look!

The Owner’s Villa

The Owner’s Villa certainly sets a new standard in luxury accommodation. Exclusivity is what it’s all about, starting with a private entrance and being totally secluded from the rest of the lodges.

The villa is spread across two floors, with two bedrooms on each floor, is 7,100-square-foot and features two living rooms, a dining room, a welcoming appointed kitchen, walk-in temperature-controlled wine cellar, a 45-foot swimming pool, a jacuzzi terrace, family room, a fully equipped gym, and about every luxe amenity imaginable. All meals, are bespoke, prepared by the Villa’s chef to match the high Delaire Graff standard and for nannies and security there are two ensuite rooms. The luxurious Villa offers discerning guests demanding opulence and space in a relaxed country setting.

Two helipads are also on the estate, allowing guests to travel directly from the Cape Town International Airport. Rumor has it that a business executive recently rented the villa out for a month and parked his new Ferrari out front.

The villa also acts as a gallery for Laurence Graff’s personal art collection and is truly something to behold! He is frequently named one of the world’s top art collectors. As one of the world’s most respected diamond magnates and philanthropists he says, “Curating the art for the Owner’s Villa has been a very personal project. Among the remarkable displays of international talent are works by new and established African artists, demonstrating the immense wealth of creativity discovered across Africa and showcased and celebrated throughout Delaire Graff Estate.” Graff’s art collection is contemporary South African art by iconic and emerging South African artists. Works by William Kentridge, Lionel Smit, Dylan Lewis, Deborah Bell, Sidney Kumalo, Durant Sihlali, Cecil Skotnes and Stephane Graff define many of the interior and exterior spaces.

Today’s ultra-high-net-worth travelers are looking for exceptional experiences and seeking the best of everything. This is the place to experience all of this and some. The bar has certainly been raised!

…continues Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Part 2 Wine Tasting

#tourism #winetourism #DelaireGraffEstate #holidaydestination
#CapeWinelands #DrinkSouthAfrican #SpectacularSouthAfrica #SouthAfricanWine #wine #winelovers #DrinkSouthAfrican #SouthAfricanWine
#winelover #travelling #winetravel #winetourism #womeninwine #wineexperience #winetravels #winetasting #wineinfluencer #wineadventures #traveldiary #traveling #art
#fineart #artcollection #relaischateaux #delairegraff #luxuryliving

Andre Morgenthal, Old Vine Project – South Africa

Andre Morgenthal, Project Manager of the Old Vine Project (South Africa) give a brief overview of the Old Vine Project, and we taste six wines from The Certified Heritage Vineyards. What a great experience!

This unique initiative aims to preserve old vines in South Africa and was launched by consultant vineyard manager, Rosa Kruger in 2016.

South Africa has 92 067 hectares under vineyard, of which 3303 hectares are vineyards of 35 years and older, according to SA Wine Industry and Systems (SAWIS) 2019 statistics.

In the past few years, these wines have received many accolades and awards both nationally and internationally. For instance, 22 OVP wines achieved a 5-star rating in the 2021 Platter’s South African Wine Guide.

The OVP currently has over 80 members. The old vine blocks vary from 0,01 to 24 hectares each with Chenin being the biggest component. The oldest vineyards in South Africa are also OVP members: Eben Sadie’s ‘T Voetpad; two Cinsaut blocks which the Mullineuxs farm; Semillon in Franschhoek (Boekenhoutskloof, Thorne and Daughters, Alheit, Naude) and Muscat on Welgevonden (Daschbosch). Stellenbosch has the biggest hectares of old vines.

Inaugural “Old Vine Day” August 1 2022

The Old Vine Project (OVP) team announced today that they, their members, and wine lovers all over the South Africa and the world, will be celebrating the inaugural Old Vine Day this year on August 1, 2022 (and every year thereafter), this being the founding date of the OVP in 2016.

Join in and celebrate Inaugural Old Vine Day August 1, 2022! #OldVineDay #OldVine #CertifiedHeritageVineyards 🍷

#oldvineproject #certifiedheritagevineyards #oldvinesyoungvibes #oldvines #viticulture #vineyards #wine #winetime #winelover #winestagram #vino #wijn #vin #corkdork #drinksouthafrican #southafrica #spectacularsouthafrica #oldvines #oldvineday #oldvineday2022 #winesofsouthafrica #WOSAoldvineday #WOSAoldvineday2022
#winelandmedia @oldvineproject

For further information:   https://oldvineproject.co.za/
 

 

The Oude Werf Hotel, Stellenbosch, South Africa

This week I’m staying at The Oude Werf Hotel, which is in the heart of the Winelands, in Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is surrounded by the picturesque vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the mountains of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg. Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa, dating back to 1679.  The town has oak-lined streets and Cape Dutch architecture, giving me a true sense of South Africa’s Dutch colonial history.

I learned that the Oude Werf Hotel is also steeped in history. It’s the oldest hotel in South Africa and stands on the landmark site of the country’s first church. The original hotel was built in 1687 and was later destroyed by fire in 1710. The “churchyard” then gave rise to the Cape Dutch-style Wium’s Inn, which was rebuilt and renamed the Oude Werf Hotel.

It’s a beautiful boutique hotel, right in the heart of Stellenbosch and I found it to be a wonderfully eclectic mix of contemporary boutique and old-world charm with friendly and helpful staff.

Perfect Location

This boutique hotel is located downtown Stellenbosch, in the center of the Cape Winelands – the premier wine region of South Africa.  There are so many beautiful wine farms to visit and it’s only 45 km from Cape Town, and 20 km from the Atlantic Ocean. I found it perfect for wine tourism and cultural exploration.

Website:  https://www.oudewerf.co.za

#southafrica #southafricantravel #winelover #travelling #winetravel #winetourism #womeninwine #wineexperience #winelovers #winetravels #winetasting #Stellenbosch #wineinfluencer #wineadventures #traveldiary #traveling #WOSA #oudewerfhotel #oudewerf #oudewerfhotel #wine @oudewerfhotel #michelangeloawards

 Holden Manz Wine Estate, Franschhoek [South Africa]

I’m so happy to be back in South Africa and to re-visit Holden Manz Wine Estate. My last visit was four years ago, and I was very impressed back then.……..and now more impressed!

Holden Manz Wine Estate is located in Franschhoek Valley, surrounded by majestic mountains and two rivers.  Here I found a bit of “Heaven on South African Soils” by tasting the wines and viewing the stunning sunset.

About Holden Manz Wine Estate

Holden Manz is a 22-hectare wine farm located in the southern corner of Franschhoek Valley, surrounded by spectacular mountains, between the Franschhoek and Stony Brook Rivers. Holden Manz grows exclusively red grape varieties, notably: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot and make notable ultra-premium wines.

One of the co-owners Gerard Holden purchased the estate back in 2010.  Gerard tells me that he currently runs the vineyard with a hands-on approach and works closely with head winemaker Thierry Haberer and winemaker Annamarie Fourie.  [Watch this space as I will be interviewing Annamarie for Women in Wine Talks in the next few weeks!].

The Wines

Holden Manz red wines have won many international wine competitions and are big and bold! Without any doubt, they are some of the best South African Cabernet Franc I have ever tasted.

Favorites

2015 Holden Manz Cabernet Franc Reserve
Big and bold, a bit more elegant than the 2014, lovely deep dark red in colour, concentrated red ripe fruit, with black and green pepper, medium tannins, and long finish – stunning!

2016 Holden Manz Cabernet Franc Reserve
Fragrant wine with aromas of red raspberries, tobacco, lavender with hints of spice, a rich and elegant wine with predominant cassis and dark berries, well-balanced, pleasant subtle tannins, long finish of spice and mocha

2017 Holden Manz Cabernet Franc Reserve
A bright ruby red hue, aromatic notes of tobacco, spice, pepper, and black fruit, well-balance and rich with cassis and dark berries, subtle tannins, long finish ending with spice and mocha

2018 Holden Manz Cabernet Franc Reserve [served with med-rare Springbok fillet]
Deep garnet colour, aromatic notes of mulberry, blackberry, and tobacco, with hints of lavender and spice, well-balanced, rich with cassis and dark berries, silky tannins, long finish ending with spice and mocha.

The dinner was outstanding – Textures of carrots, Springbok Loin and for dessert, Malva Pudding.

#holdenmanzwineestate #franschhoek #holdenmanz
@holden.gerard #WineTourismSouthAfrica #SupportSouthAfrica #DrinkSouthAfrican #SouthAfricanWine #franschhoek #valleyofdreams
#winelover #travelling #winetravel #winetourism #womeninwine #wineexperience #winetravels #winetasting #vineyards #wineinfluencer #wineadventures #traveldiary #traveling #WOSA @Holdenmanzwineestate