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.

Veritas Awards’ Highest Score in History for De Grendel Elim Shiraz

De Grendel’s unique Elim Shiraz 2019 has made history with the highest score ever achieved in the Veritas Awards, South Africa’s highly respected and longest-running wine competition.

The Veritas judges scored De Grendel Elim Shiraz 2019 a record-setting 98 points, earning a Double Gold medal for the wine in the results announced on Saturday, 6 November.

De Grendel was also awarded two Gold medals, for the Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2019 (92 points) and, in the museum class for white wines four years and older, for Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2017 (90 points).

The awarded wines highlight De Grendel’s success in pioneering new winemaking areas at extremes of latitude and altitude – the Elim Shiraz from cool maritime-influenced vineyards close to Africa’s southernmost point of Cape Agulhas, while the Op Die Berg (“on the mountain”) vineyards are located near Ceres in one of South Africa’s few truly continental climates, 300km inland and almost a kilometre above sea level.

Roasted strawberry, lime & thyme cake with toasted marshmallow

Elevate your next get-together by serving up a home baked afternoon treat designed to perfectly pair with your L’Ormarins Cap Classique.


200ml milk

60ml lime juice

12 egg yolks, reserving the whites

2 limes, zest finely grated

4 sprigs fresh thyme, plucked and finely chop the leaves

300g caster sugar

300ml vegetable oil

200g cake flour

50g corn flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

Southern Hemisphere Wines From South Africa And Chile

The wine producing regions of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and the Maipo Valley of Chile are both located at 33 degrees southern latitude. Both include hilly terrain and warm climates, and both produce renowned reds from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Both countries have been producing wines for over 300 years. Whereas South African focuses predominantly on Chenin Blanc as a white grape, Chile is more focused on Sauvignon Blanc. Both also produce often surprisingly crisp Chardonnay wines.

The following is a selection of various wines—whites and reds—from different producers.

Made from the Muscat de Frontignan grape as a late harvest sweet wine, Vin de Constance has a powerful reputation for quality and complexity. Aromas of green apples, pears, apricots, mandarins, aguardiente and Grand Marniere. In the mouth, a powerhouse of scintillating flavors—precise, clean, vibrant—provide a rich, layered, lambent dessert wine. This is a precise and stunning beam of focused energy.


Delaire Graff Cabernet Franc Rosé 2021

When you make a wine and use a noble grape, like Cabernet Franc to make it, it must be something good. Cabernet Franc is an old grape from Bordeaux and is the father of Cabernet Sauvignon. Morné Vrey and his team in the cellar made the wine in the same style as Sauvignon Blanc from vineyards to cellar to maintain the lovely fresh fruit characters.

Delaire Wine Maker – Morné Vrey

With a smaller than usual harvest in 2021, the berries were smaller which meant more colour and flavour in the resulting wine. After gentle pressing, the wine was fermented and given time on the primary lees afterward to build up mid palate flavours.


De Wetshof Estate Lilya Dry Rosé 2021

De Wetshof Wine Estate is a third-generation family Estate in the Robertson Wine Appellation. Here the De Wet Family has farmed and made wine for 150 years. While the Estate’s speciality is Chardonnay, they certainly have fine plantings of other noble varieties from which Peter de Wet, the family Winemaker, makes some superb wines.

De Wetshof Estate Lilya Dry Rosé 2021

De Wetshof Wine Estate is a third-generation family Estate in the Robertson Wine Appellation. Here the De Wet Family has farmed and made wine for 150 years. While the Estate’s speciality is Chardonnay, they certainly have fine plantings of other noble varieties from which Peter de Wet, the family Winemaker, makes some superb wines.


Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Reserve Merlot 2018 – one of my superb Banghoek Valley Merlots

The Stellenbosch Wine Appellation is known for producing fine Cabernet Sauvignon Wines. Its fellow Bordeaux wine, Merlot, has been used very successfully as a blender in the so-called Bordeaux Style Blends. With renewed interest in the wine, better vineyard sites, more care in the cellar, and a keenness from a number of producers who have founded the Hallo Merlot Forum, we are more than ready to celebrate International Merlot Day on 9th November. Here are two of my current favourite Banghoek Valley Merlots.

Seeking new heights

We just have to look to the soaring vineyards of Argentina to know that viticulture is literally on the rise. Many of the country’s vines are grown at dizzying heights, from 1000m and above to even as high as 3300m. It’s neighbour Chile also has high-flung pockets, in the Elqui Valley for example producers are even experimenting with aromatic varieties such as riesling.

There’s no doubt that as the world warms we will begin to look skyward: it’ll be something of a gold rush to claim the cooler, higher sites as climatic doom starts to descend. Climate change is without a doubt the most burning issue facing viticulture, though extreme vineyards are not just an escape route – it’s also a question of style. Can there be more site-expressive wines than grapes grown almost touching the heavens?

When planted at height these vineyards are firmly continental in climate as opposed to those with ocean views moderated by the big blue.