Vergelegen means situated far away, as it was three days from the coast by Ox.
It has a long history dating back to 1685 and it was transformed into a flourishing estate by Governer Willem Adriaan Van Der Stel. Five magnificent Camphors are the oldest living officially documented trees on the continent, which front the magnificent beautifully preserved Cape Dutch homestead. After successive family ownerships including the Barlow family, Anglo American bought the property in 1987 leading to extensive restoration and vineyards planting .
The Estate is breathtaking and includes a library with Sir Lionel Phillips collection of old books , 18 themed gardens, the formal octagonal garden rise garden, international camellia gardens, oak arboretum .
Wines tasted with Frieda Stanridge
Reserve 2016 shappenberg
Vineyard specific requirements, to have single vineyard on label,mineral flint citrus young
Vergelegen GVB 2013 (Grown Vinified and Bottled), Blend Sauvignon and Sémillon
wax, honey, wet hay+,white truffles, lees, oak new barrels 7- 8months absolutely top drawer phenomenal wine, my favourite of the trip. (UK distributor John Fells)
Vergelegen Chardonnay reserve 2015
100% barrel fermented natural yeast, buttery, Toast, oak, tropical fruits lovely texture good finish.
Vergelegen reserve Shiraz 2014
10 heactares Rhône like, savoury, spice pepper, blueberry, long spicy finish.
DNA Cabernet franc 2012
Andre the winemaker is a great admirer of Pierre Lurton of cheval Blanc, 50:50 CF Merlot,Tomato Leafy herbaceous bell pepper length
Vergelegen GVB 2012
Bordeaux style 22 mths French oak Pichon trophy 🏆 best Bordeaux blend in the world, a lovely alluring nose of cassis bell pepper spice chocolate, beautiful integrated tannins
Vergelegen is a must visit on a trip to Stellenbosch. The history, buildings and stunning landscaped gardens including the arboretum, rose gardens and other delights are amazing. The wines totally lived up to the rest of the experience.
This beautiful Italianate wine estate is simply jaw dropping. Extensive clementine orchards and lavender gardens front the Tuscan style villa.
Started by Jeremy Ord of Dimensions Data and wine maker Kevin Arnus . It has a spectacular location with panoramic views towards Cape Town and False Bay surrounded by the Overberg and Stellenbosch mountain ranges.
We were greeted by a glass of MCC Blanc de Blanc Vintage 2009 in the quadrangle.
Lovely length, toast and biscuity up there with top Vintage Champagnes having spent over 5 years on Lees . A real insight into what South Africa can achieve in the sparkling wine market .
We boarded the 4 wheel drive Land Rover and commenced the excellent Waterford Wine Safari . The water level and river flow was diminished secondary to their worst drought for about 70 years and Dam levels at 15 % of capacity leading to some serious concerns in the region.
Decreased yields were offset by serious concentration and quality making this a much anticipated Vintage .
Sustainability is very much on show with water recycling for irrigation and composting of old grape skins.
The views are spectacular and the first stop to try their whites paired with gourmet food selections overlooked the Overberg Mountain range and a small lake surrounded by local fynbos and wild rosemary.
We were lucky to find a few forgotten clusters of Chardonnay grapes which had become late harvest and delivered a burst on unctuous sweet grape juice .
Waterford Rose Mary 2016
Made from a gentle pressing of Shiraz Merlot Sangiovese Malbec Tempranillo fresh and crispServed with rice paper smoked salmon spring rolls
Waterford Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014
from single vineyard 30 yr old vines,With deep roots capable of showing off the varied soils .Served with wild mushroom wrap,floral elegant lemon bold sophisticated minerality on lees for 10 months textured and Long.Served with Bread with wild rosemary and olive oil
Waterford Estate Chardonnay 2014
8 month French oak, cooler temp to control Malolactic fermentation,buttery oaky
paired with savoury cheesecake with melon preserve and spring onion
Back in the jeep for a trip back past the winery and up higher into the red Varietals vineyards overlooking False Bay and Table Mountain in the distance.A gentle breeze swept in from False Bay
Kevin Arnold Shiraz (winemaker )2012 88% Shiraz 8% Grenache 4% Mourvèdre, 20% maturation in French oak
Spice pepper soft elegant fine tannins
Paired with cold sliced nested olives and red pepper stuffed with feta.Later paired with masal chai 70 % cocoa
Waterford estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
This area is excellent for Cabernet Sauvignon and often called the Golden triangle 30 km from coast, False Bay, possibly leading to a saltiness in soil and Helderberg breeze from sea.Stones retain heat in soil from table mountain sandstone widening ripening and maturation.
Closed nose hints of Cedar wood cassis restrained
Paired with rock salt 70 % chocolate
The Jem 2001 named after Jeremy Orde owner, 8 varietals including CS Cf Merlot
Complex nose liquorice cassis herbaceous fine firm tannin structure tobacco hints mint long round finish still a baby
Muscat Viognier Chardonnay CheninRipe apricots peach honey
Matched with rose geranium chocolate
I highly recommend visiting Waterford for their full wine safari experience. It’s a great way to learn about the terroir and the jeep ride through the vineyard with stops for food and wine matching provides a unique insight into their philosophy.