Franschhoek Wine Valley

Gold for Plaisir de Merle at 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards

Plaisir de Merle Sauvignon Blanc 2012 was awarded a gold medal at the internationally respected 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), while its debut Grand Brut 2010 MCC took a silver.

Cellarmaster, Niel Bester, said:  “We had high hopes of the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc after the successful sell-out of the 2011 vintage, and this has been confirmed with this award. When blending this wine my focus was on the ageing as I believe that South African Sauvignon Blancs have the potential to develop. We thought it would come into its own after 12 to 24 months – and it did. As for the 2010 Grand Brut, it has made us very proud, because it was our debut Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wine, and a new addition to our range of cultivar wines.”

Bester – who celebrates 21 years at Plaisir de Merle this year – knows what to expect from his vineyards and earmarks specific vineyards that will give him the desired style of wine. Few cellars can boast the honour of having a winemaker with such dedication, passion and knowledge of the infinite details of getting the best from his vineyards.

The grapes for the Sauvignon Blanc were harvested by hand and sourced from three different vineyards – two on Plaisir de Merle and one in Darling, with the grapes sourced from a cool climate area adding an extra dimension that Bester wanted, and contributing to the traditional cool climate typicity such as green peas, green figs and nettles associated with the cultivar. It is elegant, delicate with prominent passion fruit and tropical fruit aromas, but still retaining that typical Greenness in the flavour.

The Plaisir de Merle Grand Brut MCC 2010 was made in the classic French tradition from two noble varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  A scintillating blend which truly captures the essence of these two noble cultivars with the Pinot Noir imparting distinctive body, flavour and maturity and the Chardonnay a clean flintiness.

The Decanter World Wine Awards is the world’s leading and most rigorously judged wine competition and the most authoritative source of wine recommendations for wine lovers worldwide. This year an expert panel of 219 judges, including 75 Masters of Wine, and 13 Master Sommeliers, from 27 countries all around the world assessed 14 362 wines from 52 countries. Of these 156 wines were awarded a Regional Trophy (1.09%), 229 a Gold Medal (1.59%), 1 665 a Silver Medal (11.6%), 4 165 a Bronze Medal (29%) and 3 658 a Commended Medal (25.47%).
Plaisir de Merle wines are available from leading bottle stores, wine departments of most supermarkets and from the Tasting Centre on the farm.  The Sauvignon Blanc 2012 sells for R90 from the cellar door and the Grand Brut 2010 MCC for R180. Plaisir de Merle Wines are exported to 43 Countries around the world. Visit the website on or follow on Facebook

Franschhoek Wine Valley exists to:

  • Develop and implement marketing plans to profile the Franschhoek Wine Valley
  • Arrange and advertise events that support the Franschhoek Wine Valley brand image and which encourage visitors to the Valley
  • Represent the business interests of our members to the Stellenbosch Municipality
  • Aggregate the combined buying power of our members to leverage economy of scale benefits from service providers
  • Coordinate free advisory services and discussion forums to support our member’s businesses

Our Accolades

  • TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2020 - Top 25 Emerging Worldwide Destinations (15th position).
  • Tripadvisor Traveller's Choice Destination Winner 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
  • Most Memorable Wine Route 2014, 2013 & 2012
  • Service Excellence Award - 2015
  • Best Tourism Event 2015 - Franschhoek Bastille Festival
  • Best Local Tourism Authority Information service 2013 & 2012

Tourism Levy

Certain establishments in Franschhoek may levy visitors with voluntary contributions towards the running of the FWV and to support local charities. Should visitors not wish to contribute to these causes, please indicate this to the relevant merchant.


Maintenance & validity of all business operating permits, licences and registration certificates are the responsibility of the business owner. Franschhoek Wine Valley takes no responsibility for the renewal of the required legal business operating documentation.


Contact Us

Franschhoek Wine Valley

Physical Address
62 Huguenot Road

Office hours
Monday: 09h00 – 12h00
Tuesday to Friday: 09h00 – 16h00
Saturday: 09h00 – 13h00
Sunday: closed

Contact Details
+27(0) 21 876 2861