Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wine of Origin Results! Old Mutual Trophy

After raising a question at the feedback session of the Old Mutual Wine Trophy earlier this year I received the results I was looking for. Alex Mason-Gordon was kind enough to send me the list of Gold and Trophy Winners with their Wine of Origin details. The Results were as follows:
Total Gold and Trophy Winners     =          42

Site-Specific & Estate                         =          23 (55%)

Western Cape/Coastal Origin             =          11 (26%)

Wine of Origin Specific                      =          31 (74%) includes Estate & Site Specific

Almost three quarters of the top honours were from a specific region. In doing this I am not trying to say that WC/Coastal Blended Wines are not good wines. I am merely trying to find solid evidence and ways to promote Wine of Origin specific wines and especially Estate Wines. This shows true terroir and skill of the winemakers and viticulturists.
If we were to include silver and bronze medals it will probably give us a lot more information, but i think the most important part here is at the top.

It will be very interesting to compare this with other Wine Competitions and if the trend continues. Hopefully I can get my hands on them as well and draw some comparison with a similar outcome.

And on that note...

We launched a wine for two South African Cricket Legends, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher, in July - The Innings. The partnership was established with one of the oldest family owned wine estates in South Africa, Rietvallei Estate in Robertson. One of the critical factors to me when we started work on this project almost one year ago was that the wine should be Estate bottled and Wine of Origin specific. Concept brands like this need credibility in the bottle as much as it needs the connection with sport celebrities like Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher. Two wines were bottled and ready for you to order: Sauvignon Blanc (R50) and Cabernet Sauvignon (R65) direct from Rietvallei Estate.

I firmly believe that because of the partnership with an established wine brand and winemaker this brand can live up to its expectations. It is not just another brand with wine bought from various places to supply the volume that we need. This wine has a home and is grown, made, produced and bottled on Rietvallei Estate. Already we have seen great interest in the wines from the public and it is available in some Food Lovers Market stores in the Western Cape. Pick n Pay and Makro is in the process of listing the wines and will be available soon. It is not just a brand for the loyal supporters of the players, but the quality is definitely in the bottle for the consumer to enjoy. There is a busy cricket season ahead so we hope that you will all enjoy the wines while supporting the Proteas.

For further information on The Innings please contact:
Marketing:   Colyn Truter
Orders:         Rietvallei Estate


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Does your packaging appeal to Women??

In many studies and statistics given to the Wine Industry they show figures of up to 70% of wine purchased in retail are done by women. If this is the case how well does the industry do in labelling their brands according to female interests?? Personally I am not so sure we do that so well in South Africa. Packaging in SA is still very conservative and traditional compared to what you will find in other countries. Especially in the USA where it is all about standing out from the shelf and as they call it, “shout at the consumer”. Here are some examples of what I have come across during my trips to the USA:

This is only some examples of what is out there with the one below sure to raise some eyebrows J

This is packaging that actually sells wine in certain markets and whether it is appealing to one or both genders are questionable. However, comparing the colour, catchy names and play on words that some of the brands have we must look at what is on our retail shelves. Just think of Yellow Tail and the barriers that it broke to become a sensation in International Retail.
The Wine Industry is having a very tough time and the biggest problem we have locally is the low consumption of wine per capita. Maybe it is time to really focus on appealing to consumers through our packaging and produce some silly catchy brand names.

We all know that people buy with their eyes. Let’s be more colourful, adventurous and attract more attention with colour and a catchy name. Personally I have always felt that we should break down the snobbish walls that the industry has. Make wine more acceptable at ALL occasions rather than just a lunch or dinner drink.

In Italy you don’t drink wine out of a crystal wine glass when you are visiting in someone’s home. You drink out of a normal glass because wine is a part of their life as much as water is.

Get rid of the “nose in the air” promotion of wine and let consumers be more comfortable in enjoying wine anywhere anytime. There is a market for Johnnie Walker Blue Label as much as there is for the Red label. Consumers will buy R500 bottles of rare, limited production wines. When you drink wine regularly and quite a lot of it then I would think cheaper more affordable “Ass Kisser” would be on your table.

Are consumers ready to buy wine with names like “Big Ass Cab or Ass Kisser” in South Africa?? Who knows, but I am sure that those who will try first will get ladies filling their shopping carts with your wine. What about a seductively smooth Red Wine called Don Juan or a very robust heavy red called Mr Pitt?

Ladies, what is your favourite wine packaging and stands out in stores that you visit?? OH before i forget, the names of the wines above is not aimed at anyones weight or body type!! Please send me your feedback and pictures if you have of your favourite labels.


Colyn Truter

Twitter:            colyntruter

Facebook:         Colyn Truter


Friday, May 11, 2012

Journeys End Wines to your Doorstep!!

Journeys End, situated in the Helderberg basin close to Somerset West has been awarded medals for their wines from Hong Kong to London to Amsterdam. They were also awarded Top Honours at The Michelangelo International Wine Awards 2011 as the producer with the most Gold Medal winning wines. Although some of you might not know this producer, yet, you will definitely fall in love with their wines. It is owned by the Gabb Family who developed and launched the most successful export brand out of South Africa, Kumala. The family now focus their energy on sustainable and top quality wine production and the Journeys End wines definitely does South Africa proud. Journeys End would like to offer the wines below with Free Delivery to your door. You can either mix and match a six bottle case or order individual cases of the wines that you prefer. 

Neil Pendock, "Journeys End has more medals than Idi Amin!!"

The wines that they would like to offer, in limited quantities, so please don't hesitate, are:

Haystack Chardonnay 2011 - White Wine Trophy Wijnconcours Holland (2010)
Normal Price R60
Your Price – R55
Per Case(1x6) = R330.00

Intensely-focused flavours showing citrus, tropical fruits and mineral tones. The taste is long and elegant with excellent fruit/wood integration. The palate shows riper fruit that combines well with the creaminess. Crisp acidity and some well balanced oak lingers on the palate.

The lightly oaked style makes this a very easy drinking Chardonnay to enjoy on its own or pair with food.  

The Pastors Blend 2009 – Silver Medal International Wine Challenge
Normal Price = R60
Your Price = R55
Per Case(1x6) = R330.00

A Blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Earthy, Herbaceous Tones with ripe fruit and underpinned mint. Sweet Spicy Palate with very soft and smooth tannins makes this a wonderful wine to enjoy with or without a meal.

A wine to enjoy at any time whether you are hosting or just want to have a good glass of Red Wine after a long days work.  

Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 – Gold Medal Michelangelo Awards
Normal Price = R125
Your Price = R110
Per Case (1x6) = R660

Deep, ruby black appearance and still showing youth. The powerful ripe fruit is lush and fleshy on both the nose and palate, with lots of ripe cassis and backed by dark chocolate. Eucalyptus, green peppery herbal spice and underlying mint come forth and are backed by some sweet almonds.

This is a wine to enjoy with special friends and family.  

Please contact Lee-Anne on or (021) 8581929 to place your order!!! If you are keen to visit the winery and come for a personal tasting with the Winemaker, Leon Esterhuizen, please book at the telephone number above or email


Delivery only FREE in South Africa

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

GREAT deal on Arendsig New Releases!!!

Lourens van der Westhuizen would like you to have access to the release of two New Vintages of his Single Vineyard Range Wines. This is his ninth harvest and the first one in his new renovated cellar with some innovative stuff happening in 2012. We cant wait to show you some of the 2012 wines later this year, but first let's stick to what he done extremely well since 2004!!

Chardonnay 2011:    The first white wine Lourens produced in his Boutique Cellar in 2004 and started a huge following. Beautiful fruit flavours with a very well balanced use of oak makes it a serious yet elegant Chardonnay.  If I have to claim one cultivar which is meant to be planted in our valley it must be Chardonnay. This grape variety is well suited for our Limestone soils,” in his humble words.

"Every grape are selected and picked, by hand, from one single vineyard Block. I pick this vineyard in three different stages. The first pick adds tightness to the mid pallet and more citrus notes on the nose. The second pick gives the balance and bring the first and last pick together. The last pick adds complexity and tropical pineapple notes. I use mainly free-run juice to make this wine."

Shiraz Blanc de Noir 2011: Made in a dry style to accommodate a vast array of foods or just to be enjoyed on its own. The low alcohol of only 12% makes this a wonderful welcome drink or sipping it outside on a nice sunny day.
Don't be scared of this being a pink wine gents. It really is an amazing dry wine with lots of character and the total opposite of the "cheap and cheerful pink wine" that some people associate with.

Shiraz 2011:               The first red wine from his stable and one that turns heads. “When I think Shiraz, I think Spicy, Pepper, strawberries, grapefruit and structure,” says Lourens.

"Shiraz vines need to struggle to make a good wine. I am glad that I have the perfect spot on our farm for this cultivar. The vineyard is planted on a slope that is exposed to afternoon sun. This terrain consists of stones and rocks and very little soil. The wine goes to barrel for 12 months maturation. My selection of barrels is mainly older, in order to bring out the natural flavors from the vines."

Get your hands on these wines NOW. The mixed case of six bottles consists of TWO bottles each of the wines above.

Normal Price for this mixed case are R420. If you order now you can have it delivered to your doorstep for only R350!!! This cost include delivery in South Africa only!!
This Deal will be valid for order until Friday 20 April!!!

Contact Lizelle van der Westhuizen to place your order and stock up for the long weekend.

Tel:      0236162835
Twitter:      arendsigwines
Facebook:  arendsigwines

Monday, February 13, 2012

I met David Sadie in 2010 when I joined a Wine Tasting Group in Stellenbosch. It is quite an interesting group consisting mainly of winemakers from the Stellenbosch region. With a lot of chirping and friendly banter I immediately stirred things up a bit in the group because of my blog and comments regarding Platter and various other issues. David has been one who I felt is an open-minded and passionate winemaker with ambition to do something great. When I started looking at doing my own thing he was also one of the first winemakers I contacted to see what the opportunities are to help him and Lemberg Estate.
David has what it takes to put Lemberg on the map and really make it one of the gems in Tulbagh.

Tell us a bit more about yourself and how you ended up here?
I grew up in the Swartland and studied Oenology and Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch.  It was during this time that I met my wife, Nadia, now a qualified soil scientist and viticulturist.
In my final year of studies (2006) a harvest at Waterford Wine Estate in Stellenbosch set the standard for quality and the focus on detail in my career. A follow up harvest  after graduation was the obvious choice. Directly after the South African harvest in 2007, I went to New Zealand for a harvest in Marlborough at South Pacific Cellars who makes Lake Chalice, Cape Campbell and Delta wines. Returning home, another two month working period followed at Waterford Wine Estate after which I went to France, St Emillion to work my third harvest for the year at a Premier Cru, Chateau Quinault. During the three month harvest period and travels in Europe thereafter, the tasting of Mediterranean cultivars and regions had a lasting experience on my thoughts and palate. Returning home for a few days of rest, I started at Rustenberg Wines in Stellenbosh in January 2008. After seven great months at Rustenberg Wines, I moved on to a warmer region, Tulbagh, working as assistant winemaker at Saronsberg Wines for almost three years.
I joined Lemberg Wine Estate in the 2011 harvest as Winemaker and Viticulturist and also to assist with Marketing.

Why did you become a Winemaker? To farm, to grow, to harvest, to make, to age, to bottle and to taste crafted wines.

Any favourite Grape Variety you work with or something you really want to work with? Chenin blanc, Viognier, Pinotage, Shiraz, Grenache Noir.  I would really like to work more with Roussanne.

What time of year is most special to you…working with the grapes when they come in during harvest or tasting/blending the wines when you feel it’s ready to be bottled? All year long, I’m just very impatient to get from harvest to bottling and eventually the wine in the market.

Every Winemaker in South Africa with a bit of passion and a dream to be different want to be talked about. What would you like people to say about your wines and your winemaking talent?
Mmm…modesty first for me, balanced!! I don’t do a lot of small talk, so it is great to hear people appreciating the wines as we indented the wines to be. Basically, the honesty and freshness. Difficult question: In short, that people appreciate our wines for the way it was produced; natural, honest and fresh.

Lemberg Estate is much older than people think, but can be seen as a new entrant to the market. What excites you most about this position?
Well, there are older South African wine drinkers that still know Lemberg for what it was and I think it is important to bring them something sentimental and classic about Lemberg, hence the replanting of Hárslevelű on the farm. As for Lemberg as a new entrant and thus brand in general South Africa, the canvas is ours to be painted…

 The Estate is planted with about 9ha of vineyards and will never be a big volume producer, but do you see this as a positive or negative?
The key is to supply smaller and bigger markets within our “small” setup by producing one or two wines which are more accessible and affordable for many, but also to make wines which are boutique and quality driven, enough so to be appreciated by the connoisseur. Being small does have its challenges, but all well worth it.

This year (2012) will be your second one as Winemaker here at Lemberg Estate. Looking at the vineyards and where we are now before harvest, what are your predictions for Vintage 2012?
I predict a slightly later vintage than the previous one. Overall quality and yields are good, grapes healthy and I think it might be a smaller and more concentrated harvest.

What would people NOT know about David Sadie? Passion outside winemaking, hobbies etc etc. My biggest dream ever was to play professional rugby, but due to a neck injury in 2005, this dream was shattered. This year I would like to do more kayaking and take up mountain biking as I love the adventure. Currently I am reading Around Africa on my bicycle by Riaan Manser which inspires me to greater heights. I do timber-work from time to time.

What do you think the SA Industry should focus on more to grow our market share on the International stage. Something that you think is very unique to our Industry?
I believe that if we stand together as region, showcasing and marketing our wines together, everyone will benefit. I also believe that we should stop the negativity within our own industry and rather be humble and work together.

Outside of South Africa, which Wine Region/Country do you look up to and why? Southern and Northern Rhône valley in France and the Lanquedoc-Roussillon

If you have the opportunity to visit the Tulbagh Valley you must be sure to book a tasting with David. Lemberg Estate is open for tastings and most importantly also on Sundays! Tulbagh is a very popular destination for Weddings so now you know what to do before the ceremony starts J and I am talking about you as a guest not bride or groom!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meet Lourens van der Westhuizen, Arendsig Handcrafted Wines!!

I have known Lourens, or better known by his friends as Bibop, since High School in Robertson. He has always been a very passionate person in everything he does. He was probably the slowest opening batsmen I have ever played cricket with, but a hard running centre next to me on the rugbyfield. I will never forget when he started making his own wine in 2004 and how he was running around borrowing pipes and other winemaking materials from friends. His biggest goal was to bottle his wine and impress people. Once you meet the man you will understand why he has grown from being almost a garagist into one of the finds in the Robertson Valley. He single handedly built up a wonderful following of consumers and people stand in line to order his new vintages. This is a quick introduction for you to learn a bit more about the man behind Arendsig Handcrafted Wines.

Why did you become a Winemaker? Everyone is born with a passion and certain goal on this planet. Mine is to be a winemaker.

Any favourite Grape Variety you work with or something you really want to work with? No favourite, I want to work and make wine from Single Vineyard blocks and experiment with diversity on terrior.

What time of year is most special to you…working with the grapes when they come in during harvest or tasting/blending the wines when you feel it’s ready to be bottled?
I love nature. The old saying goes: "Good wine comes from the vineyard". This is maybe why I prefer to be out there and bring in top quality grapes from various terrior.

Every Winemaker in South Africa with a bit of passion and a dream to be different want to be talked about. What would you like people to say about your wines and your winemaking talent? Single Vineyard/ Terrior legend

Arendig Handcrafted Wines is in its eight year. What are you most proud of in achieving during this time? That people are accepting and appreciating my own unique style of winemaking. My sales have also grown tremendously with a lot of loyal consumer that visit me often to collect their wines.

Any exciting new developments and plans that your loyal consumers can look forward to? There are many more exciting single vineyard wines coming. I expanded my cellar and modernized it a bit. This 2012 harvest is going to be great and i can't wait to take in my first grapes.

Looking at the vineyards and where we are now before harvest, what are your predictions for Vintage 2012?
All I can say is that in my few years of making wine, I have never seen such an exceptional build up towards harvest, but as nature taught me previously you can't say anything till all the grapes are in the cellar.

What would people NOT know about Lourens van der Westhuizen? Passion outside winemaking, hobbies etc.
 I love to be active and enjoy any kind of sport and recently started to do some Mountain biking. You will see on the video on my website that rockclimbing is another hobby. Socialize over a few beers with my friends are always special.

What do you think the SA Industry should focus on more to grow our market share on the International stage? Something that you think is very unique to our Industry?
We have the most diverse industry/ Terrior. We should be proud about all these different areas and stop looking at only very specific ones. We have got a lot more to offer.
Outside of South Africa, which Wine Region/Country do you look up to and why? French, because what we are learning now, they have forgotten. They are extremely passionate and have played this game for centuries.
You can visit to learn more about his wines.  With the Robertson Hands-on-Harvest Festival around the corner be sure to go and visit him. Taste the grapes with Lourens in the Vineyards and spend the day experiencing his passion and love for Wine and the Robertson Wine Valley. If you think Eben Sadie is a passionate winemaker then you havent met Lourens "Bibop" van der Westhuizen!