|Nestled at the base of the majestic Simonsberg Mountain range in the Western Cape is the fertile Franschhoek Wine Valley where spectacular vineyards cover the mountain slopes that were settled more than 300 years ago by the French Hugenots. The valley is rich, lush farmland perfect for growing grapes used to produce the highest quality wines found in South Africa.
Franschhoek, (the picturesque village just 45 minutes from Cape Town) is home to the Vrede en Lust Winery, a family owned and managed wine estate.
Vrede en Lust has a 300 year old history. It was first established by Jacques de Savoye in 1688 as a wine farm and even centuries ago it was described as “the most beautiful place”.
Vrede en Lust is a family oriented wine farm and the families all contribute in some way to the richness found in this wine estate. The winery welcomes its guests with free wine tasting in a comfortable, serene setting and also offers wine tours where guests can experience the wine making process and come in close contact with the grapes.
The winemaker at the lovely Vrede en Lust wine estate is Susan Erasmus, winner of the 2007 Landbou Woman Winemaker of the Year award. Susan’s passion is wine and it is evident in the award winning range of wines produced at Vrede en Lust. Susan Erasmus was born in Cape Town and raised in the Free State, a province of South Africa. She is a graduate of the University of Stellenbosch in Viticulture and Oenology and also spent time abroad in France working in the wine industry. Susan returned to the winelands in 2000 and has worked in collaboration with the owners, Dana and Etienne Buyers, to renew the Vrede en Lust winery and make it the flourishing success it is today.
The winemaking philosophy at Vrede en Lust is to produce the highest quality handcrafted wines that reflect their terroir with minimal intervention in the cellar. The wines are produced in New World Style, some classical and some of a more modern taste. The vineyards are planted where they are best suited to their respective soils. White grapes come from the cool climate Elgin region and red grapes come from the warmer Simonsberg-Paarl vineyards.
The Vrede en Lust Wine Estate with its peaceful and welcoming atmosphere has much to offer in addition to its stellar winery and vineyards. Cotage Fromage is a restaurant which serves a light, sophisticated breakfast or lunch with live music on Sunday afternoons. There is a deli where you can find 60 different cheeses and a variety of meats and freshly baked breads. The Manor House and Jonkmanshuis offers elegant accommodations to guests of Vrede en Lust boasting old world charm in a modern, bright airy setting. Lavish weddings are also held at Vrede en Lust with its breathtaking scenery as the backdrop.
We are lucky to have a wide range of Vrede en Lust wine in our store. For any inquiries, mail us at email@example.com
Doolhof means Labyrinth in Afrikaans
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|A view of the Doolhof Wine Estate vineyards, nestled between the breathtaking Groenberg Mountain range and Bain’s Kloof Pass in the Western Cape province of South Africa, is a strikingly beautiful sight. It is here where the first settlers marveled at the many hills and vales and aptly gave it the name Doolhof.Doolhof means Labyrinth in Afrikaans, and it truly does feel like a labyrinth just getting there. Driving along a very windey, dusty road, with thoughts of truly reaching the end of the world, you turn the last corner and the view takes your breath away.The white French-Hugenot architecture found on the property is a stunning contrast to the bright green paddocks and 80 hectares of vineyards. The rest of the land remains uncultivated.Doolhof Estate is approximately 380 hectares and is located at the base of the Groenberg Mountains. The winery is located just outside of Wellington which is a town in the Western Cape in South Africa and its economy is centered around agriculture, primarily the wine industry.
The climate and growing conditions are ideal for growing grapes and the natural water retention in the vineyards is an added bonus.
The soils in this area are the absolute best that can be found in the region and perfect for growing grapes and producing some of the finest South African wine available.
Doolhof Wine Estate hand picks flavorful grapes from their premier vineyards and uses a meticulous winemaking process to produce their unique collection of wines. Two of the Doolhof wines, the 2009 Signatures of Doolhof Malbec and the 2009 Signatures of Doolhof Petit Verdot, have been awarded national winners at the 2011 Sixth Annual Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards.
Cape Ardor’s Doolhof Wine Collection consists of:
The Legends of the Labyrinth:
- Dark Lady 2010: A deep plum and cherry wine overlaid by mocha and chocolate; 100% Pinotage.
- Lady in Red 2008: A Garnet red Bordeaux blend.
- The Minotaur 2007: A well balanced, full-bodied, masterly blended red wine.
The Signatures of Doolhof:
- Malbec 2009: A well-integrated complex rich wine with a variety of flavors on the nose.
The Cape Series:
- Cape Loerie 2009: Green citrus and gooseberry dominate the nose.
- Cape Roan 2007: A deep red wine, smoky and spicy on the nose, coupled with dark fruit.
The elegant blue and white Doolhof Tasting Room located in the “old wagon house” provides the perfect atmosphere for guests to taste the award winning Doolhof wines. An adjoining terrace with fountains and a lush tranquil garden is a relaxing venue for light lunches, wine tasting and a quiet stroll through the gardens. Picnics, a River Walk and a hiking trail are also unique features of the Doolhof Wine Estate.
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Sauvignon blanc is one of my favorite wine varietals the South Africans produce. For me, I can enjoy it year round and as an intro to just about any great meal or social event. My personal preference has been towards the Sauvignon blancs coming from the higher altitude or cooler climate regions (such as Iona from Elgin) that tend to yield more grassy mineral-oriented flavors than the tropical fruit notes produced in the lower or warmer climate regions (such as Darling.) Interestingly, the recent results from the FNB Sauvignon blanc Top Ten 2011 competition may indicate that the Sauvignon blanc palate is migrating towards the more fruit forward characteristics of warmer producing regions.
The 2011 season in South Africa was notably dry and hot and is responsible for the wines emanating a more fruit forward profile.
As noted by Christian Eedes of Wine Magizine, “Sauvignon is arguably one of the ultimate terroir wines in the sense that there is theoretically little in the wine making process which might obscure the impact of site.” as such, the vintage can often serve as a short lived orator of sorts, parlaying details of the growing climate of the given region. (Barring no cross regional blending has been introduced.)
The results of the FNB Top Ten yielded 5 single region winners and 5 cross regional blends winners:
- Boschendal Reserve Collection 2011
- Clos Malverne 2011
- David Niewoudt Ghost Corner 2011
- Delaire Coastal Cuvée 2011
- Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Limited Release 2011
- Franschoek Cellar Statue de Femme 2011
- Lutzville Cool Climate 2010
- Overhex Soulo 2011
- Wade Bales Winemaker Selection Thys Louw 2011
- Woolworths [WHAT]? 2011 by Bergsig Estate
While there is relatively nothing new under the Sun trends tend to come and go. So really, wine is about what you enjoy.
So the question to you is what style of Sauvignon blanc do you enjoy most?
A winemaker from the ‘Warm Heart of Africa”.
Ataraxia wines, the Wines of Kevin Grant, are cultivated from one of the finest wine growing regions in South Africa. The Vineyards are located on the most elevated section of the Hemel en Aarde area of the Walker Bay wine-growing district. Ataraxia is on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge to the west of Africa’s southernmost tip, Cape Agulhas, and is situated on an area known as The Skyfields. The breathtaking views of the Babylonstoren mountain range provides a beautiful backdrop for the Ataraxia Vineyards and it couldn’t be in a lovelier or more perfect location.
Kevin and his wife, Hanli, founded Ataraxia in 2004. Kevin received his schooling in Cape Town, South Africa and graduated from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelors of Science degree in Zoology. With an avid, lingering interest in winemaking, Kevin received a diploma in Cellar Technology from the Cape Institute for Agricultural Training, Elsenburg. Kevin worked at high-end estates in South Africa, one being neighboring Hamilton Russell Vineyards, which is one of South Africa’s most successful wineries. In 2004 Kevin and his wife partnered with a few friends and purchased prime vineyard land and set out on a course to make the finest wines possible.
The soils found in the Ataraxia Vineyards are one of the most important elements in producing excellent wines – They dictate which grapes are used. Based on the many soil types that make up the geology of the area and the mild climate due to the close proximity to the South Atlantic Ocean, the Ataraxia Vineyard is in a prime location. The vineyards are planted on elevated, south facing slopes and grapes are always hand picked and sorted with the utmost care and dedication readying them for the meticulous winemaking process.
Ataraxia’s Wine Lounge or wine tasting room was built to look like a little white chapel sitting on the slopes of the vineyard. It is a picturesque setting perfect for contemplation of the three Ataraxia wines, Serenity, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Ataraxia wines consist of:
- Serenity (2007) a red wine derived from the “true art of blending”
- Chardonnay (2009) “A chiseled, focussed wine that effortlessly manages to be both subtle and intense”
- Sauvignon Blanc (2010) “A wine of substantial poise, length and charm”
There are plans to add a Pinot Noir to their melodious selection of wines in the near future. In the mean time, you can find these wines in our store.