Klein Constantia and the Ode to Silence

Such was his respect and reverence for their wines, Napoleon forced his troops to salute the vines of Gevrey-Chambertin as they marched through Burgundy, en route to a bit of strenuous French dictatorial conquering, violent mayhem and flashy blood-letting. Times are more peaceful now, thankfully, but if there are any South African vineyards worthy of a salute, a courteous nod or even a matey “howzit!”-thumbs-up, these are indeed the winelands of Constantia.

For sure, this is where the Cape wine industry began 337 years back when a foresighted Dutch fellow named Simon van der Stel picked Constantia as a pretty good place for planting vines and making wine. And with the sweet and other wines from the region being all the rage in Europe during the 1700s and 1800s – including a desired tipple of aforementioned Napoleon Bonaparte – Constantia has always given good story.

Proposal Hill Cap Classique Brut Rosé 2017, a De Grendel Wine with a romantic De Grendel story…

De Grendel Proposal Hill Cap Classique Brut Rosé 2017

De Grendel Wine Estate is in the Durbanville Wine Appellation, though divorced from it by the Tygerberg Hills on whose southwest facing slopes it is situated. A mere 20 minutes from the city centre and the Cape Town International Airport.

Sir De Villiers & Lady Graaff

Proposal Hill is a hillock on the Estate on which Sir De Villiers Graaff, 2nd Baronet, proposed to his lady, Ina. This wine is a celebration of this day.

Pinot Noir Grapes ripening on the vine

A beautifully constructed wine by Charles Hopkins, the Founding Winemaker of the Estate. Made in the traditional Méthode Champenoise during which the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle. 19 days for first fermentation.

Tokara wins best New World Bordeaux blend in Global Challenge

Tokara, the family owned Stellenbosch Wine and Olive Estate, has triumphed at the 2021 Global Fine Wine Challenge by securing the Trophy for the best New World Bordeaux blend and Double Gold for Cabernet Sauvignon.

The highly acclaimed Tokara Director’s Reserve Red 2018 clinched top honours in the Bordeaux Blend class, while the Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 garnered Double Gold. Both wines also excelled with 5-stars in the 2022 Platter’s South African Wine Guide.

The Six Nations Global Fine Wine Challenge, a new rendition of the original Tri-Nations Challenge established 18 years ago, is the only competition dedicated exclusively to the best of the best New World wines from the USA, Canada, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Von Arnim: the Legend Continues

Many families of the wine world, predictably, ascribe their generational involvement with vineyards and wine to the grape’s elixir being for them “a way of life”. But experiencing the second flight of Franschhoek’s von Arnim clan now running their Haute Cabrière estate, one can firmly state that for this renowned part of Cape wineland family DNA, wine is not a “way” but truly is life itself.

The von Arnims’ blood, sweat and toil; hopes and dreams; their very essence of being and that place they command on earth – a place which the sun shines brightly on – is driven by nothing other than those 750ml bottles of fermented grape liquid they create. Wine grown and crafted to enrich the lives of others by a family whose soul centers around one of the most blessed, civilized and beautiful things this world has known.

Tokara Sauvignon Blanc enlivens creamy West Coast mussels

Tokara Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2021, the latest vintage of this acclaimed cool climate showstopper with its signature saline finish, fits like a glove with creamy West Coast mussels.

“Originating from arguably the finest terroir in the country, the wine showcases an exquisite aromatic diversity.” This is just one of the defining characteristics that stand out for winemaker Stuart Botha about the new vintage crafted from Tokara’s prized Elgin vineyards.

Enticing aromas of green apple and lime juice subtly interplay with Cape gooseberry and a wisp of blackcurrant leaf. On the palate, the wine has an amazing freshness with zesty green apple and a lingering saline finish.

De Wetshof Chardonnay featured in Wine Spectator’s Top 100

South Africa’s pioneering Chardonnay-focused wine estate, De Wetshof in Robertson, is the only Cape wine on this year’s coveted list of Top 100 wines, as selected by the American magazine Wine Spectator, one of the world’s most influential wine publications.

The De Wetshof Bon Vallon Chardonnay 2020, one of the estate’s five site-specific Chardonnays, came in at number 92 in the Top 100, which is selected by Wine Spectator editors from the thousands of wines from around the world scrutinised throughout the year.

Bon Vallon is one of De Wetshof’s two unwooded Chardonnays and is no stranger to accolades having won numerous awards at South African wine competitions. According to Johann de Wet, CEO of De Wetshof, this year’s Wine Spectator Top 100 spot is a highlight in the Bon Vallon Chardonnay’s performance on the international stage.

Record High Platter's Ratings Awarded For Anthonij Rupert Wyne

Anthonij Rupert Wyne in Franschhoek has been awarded four 5-star ratings and fourteen 4.5 star ratings for wines in their illustrious portfolio, as well as Semillon of the Year. These accolades were featured in the latest edition of the authoritative and internationally recognised Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2022, due for release in November 2021.

The deserving wines were the Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Franc 2015, the Cape of Good Hope Laing Groendruif 2020 (Semillon of the Year), the Cape of Good Hope Altima 2020 and the L’Ormarins Brut Rosé 2016. This is the 3rd consecutive year that the Cabernet Franc and Groendruif wines have been awarded the coveted 5-star rating. These latest accolades reaffirm the team’s commitment to quality, producing the best possible from their vineyards and building an impressive track record for their wines.

Diemersdal Ends a Golden Year with Two 5-star wines in Platter’s Guide

As this year gallops to the finishing post, Diemersdal can look back at 2021 as being one of the most successful years in its history, the result of the multiple awards the estate’s wines won at various local and international competitions.

What has made these accolades more compelling, is that the awards were bestowed on a diverse range of wine varieties, underscoring Diemersdal’s ability of making some of the best red and white wines in South Africa.

Diemersdal’s golden year ended on a high note, receiving two 5-star accolades in the 2022 edition of the Platter’s Guide to South African Wines, South Africa’s leading wine publication. The 5-star ratings went to wines made from two grape varieties. Diemersdal has now become especially renowned for, going to The Journal Sauvignon Blanc 2020 and The Journal Pinotage 2019.

Tokara shines with five Platter 5-star wines in 2022 Wine Guide

Tokara, the acclaimed family owned Stellenbosch wine estate, stands proud as one of South Africa’s top performing wine producers with no less than 5 Platter 5-star wines in the 2022 edition of the country’s definitive wine guide.

Both Tokara’s flagship blends from the 2018 vintage, the Director’s Reserve Red and White, the Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, the Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2020 and their XO Potstill Brandy, all have 5-star ratings in Platter’s 2022 South African Wine Guide.

This marks the most Platter 5-stars ever awarded to Tokara after their triumphant achievement in the 2021 edition with four 5-star wines. All 5-star wines have ratings of 95 points or more on the 100-point scale.

“This incredible achievement is not only a reflection of our special site, but also a testament to resilience and the ability of an exceptional team to thrive under the leadership of a family who have dedicated more than 25 years to the pursuit of excellence,” says GM Karl Lambour.