South Africa White Wine
We're now working with some of the top wineries in South Africa (directly), and several boutique importers, to bring many of the very best South African wines to the UK market. These wines are beautifully crafted, often in tiny quantities and represent excellent value for money. Please give them a try, you will be blown away by the quality.
Now here's a country which has suffered at the hands of unscrupulous wine merchants and the large factory produced brands. I've tasted virtually hundreds of frankly awful South African wines wondering what all the fuss was about in the media. How could a nation have such a large wine industry if it was all such poor quality? The truth is, there are good South African wines - in fact there are world class South African wines - we just have to search very hard to find them in the UK amongst the mass of cheap plonk that's swamping the supermarkets, and the low end on-trade offerings.
We're personally very impressed by the quality of the boutique wines in South Africa, so we're actively sourcing more wines from small ethical producers, and we're importing these ourselves cutting out the importer's margin to bring them to you at the best prices.
Many of these wines are exclusive to us in the UK and are amongst the finest to come from the Cape.
As all our regular customers know, we personally select every wine on this site on it's own merits, we don't simply list every wine from each producer. We are listing nearly all the Zevenwacht portfolio though as all their wines are very good, and offer great value for money.
Zevenwacht is a large estate of 500 hectares with 200 hectares planted to vine. Their winemaker, Jacques Viljoen, takes a bold approach to winemaking, using modern technology as well as traditional cellaring techniques to produce elegant premium wines. I've been listing their wines since 2008 and every year they get better and better. We have a good relationship with Denise (the owner) and we were even involved in creating a white blend for her on our recent trip out there - I hope it goes down well Denise! Zevenwacht's consultant winemaker Chris Keets is a bit of a perfectionist, and he even makes a small batch Bordeaux Blend under his own label which we will probably import when he makes enough to let us have any!
The estate comprises as well as the winery, of a cheese factory, a chef school, top restaurant with banquetting and conferencing facilities, as well as an inn and guest cottages, and is a fully licensed wedding venue all set in stunning surroundings! There's a fantastic little shop where you can purchase a picnic to take down by the lake with your wine to while away the afternoon - just make sure you are not the driver!
The estate is a big place and surprisingly easy to get lost on your first visit as all signs seem to say "Zevenwacht ...something" but once you reach the lake it's straight forward from there! I've been assured the signage will shortly be improved.
Their vineyards back right onto Jordans, and interestingly Denise is about to launch the first vintage of a superb barrel aged Chardonnay this year - something Jordans are world famous for. I tasted it and it was fantastic so fingers crossed Zevenwacht's UK importers will actually bring some over if I pester them enough!
The Jordan winery today is run by Gary and Kathy Jordan making some outstanding world class wines. The 300 year old 146 hectare farm was purchased by Gary's parents - Ted and Sheelagh - back in 1982, when they undertook an extensive replanting programme of all the vineyards. Gary and Kathy spent a couple of years abroad learning their wine making skills then returned home in 1992 and began producing quality wines from 1993 onwards, once the vines were mature.
Gary and Kathy are 'next door neighbours' and close friends with Denise of Zevenwacht - although I wouldn't like to walk from one house to the other! The secret to both estates' success is largely due to the same factors - yes, you need wine making skill and experience as well as a dedication to producing the best quality wine possible, but both these estates also have an array of different terroirs. Here lies the real skill of matching each grape variety to it's ideal terroir. Because of the specific landscape both estates have slopes facing to all four points of the compass, all at different altitudes, different degrees of slope and aspect to the sun, and all on 600 million year old soils with unique qualities. Add to this the cooling Atlantic and Indian oceans and the mediteranean climate and there's a myriad of different combinations.
The Jordans have got it right - and so have Zevenwacht - with each variety in it's ideal location producing optimum fruit. Their wines are highly recommended.
The Jordan estate has one of the most spectacular views in Stellenbosch, which is a truly stunning location to enjoy lunch in the George Jardine restaurant. Being on the east of Stellenbosch on a hill they have a view west across to the Heldeberg and the mountains separating Stellenbosch from Franschoek. It is a real "must see" if you plan to visit the South African wine lands.