Monday, July 1, 2013

The Blooming New Bloemendal Estate

Bloemendal Estate is a name and winery from Durbanville that most people should know, right? The locals will know it very well, the older wine fraternity will know it pretty well, but the general consumer probably haven’t seen a bottle of Bloemendal Estate wine around South Africa in quite some time. This is bound to change in the next six to twelve months.
Old Label of the Merlot
A conscious decision was made by the owners in 2012 to start investing in the property as well as the brand. The first priority was to appoint a viticulturist and manager who can turn around the vineyards and bring it back to full potential and production. Lombard Loubser was appointed in June 2012 to take ownership of this role. Lombard was viticulturist at highly acclaimed Stellenbosch property, Waterford Estate for nine years before joining Bloemendal Estate. With the 2013 harvest not too far away he was thrown into the deep end, but a wonderful challenge for a guy who has worked under loads of pressure before.

Phase two was appointing a winemaker that could take the wines to the next level and uphold the image of such a historic estate. Francois Haasbroek, winemaker at Waterford Estate for eight years, joined the team in January 2013 and made his first wines at Bloemendal Estate. Having worked with Lombard at Waterford they have become a very strong team and understand each other very well. Although Francois also launched his own wine range, Blackwater Wines, last year, he is fully devoted and committed to Bloemendal in revamping the wines to compete with the best.

I started working with Lombard on the revamping of the brand and marketing some time ago and all I can say is that it is going to be amazing. We are in the process of changing the packaging for the Estate as well as a more affordable range, specially made for the cellar door and restaurants on the Estate. Francois is doing his magic in the cellar with selecting only the best quality for the Estate Range which will once again feature the legendary Suider-Terras Sauvignon Blanc as the flagship white wine. The Estate range will have some consistency in terms of which wines will be there, but each vintage will be judged and decided on whether it is good enough to be bottled. The production volumes of all the wines will be smaller than usual initially, with the focus being cellar door and restaurant sales on the Estate.
Old Label of Suider Terras Sauvignon Blanc
The Bon Amis Restaurant at Bloemendal Estate is going strong and also serves as the Cellar Door for now. Plans are in place to have a seperate wine tasting area in the future, but for now visitors can sit down and relax at Bon Amis which is also very child friendly. 

Every year we see new vintages launched, new blends or wines under existing labels launched, but 2013 will see the re-launch of a historic Wine Estate dating back to 1702.

There is still some older stock that we are busy clearing at the cellar door until the new wines are ready, so pop in and stock up on some great specials. A private media launch is planned for late July/early August after which we will launch the new wines for the public to come and see what all this talk is about. Bloemendal Estate will soon take back its rightful place as one of the jewels in the Cape Winelands.

Keep your eyes and ears open about the developments at Bloemendal Estate by following us on Twitter: @bloemendalwines or Facebook.