Franschhoek Wine Valley

Tag Archive: FRanschhoek Vignerons

  1. Franschhoek Vignerons Deliver A Stellar Performance At Leading Industry Awards

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    With the wine industry awards in full swing Franschhoek’s Vignerons delivered a stellar performance at both the Michelangelo International Wine Awards and Veritas Awards, which took place a week apart from each.

    Franschhoek Wine Valley, South Africa

    Since its inception the Michelangelo International Wine Awards, which took place on 4 October, has differentiated itself from other competitions in using a judging panel comprising a majority of international wine and spirits experts. For this year’s judging, 30 judges representing 22 countries were called upon to score the more than 2 000 entries received. At this year’s awards six Double Gold and 25 Gold medals, respectively, were awarded to Franschhoek producers.

    The deserving winners were the following:

    Double Gold
    Allée Bleue Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Black Elephant Vintners Two Dogs, a Peacock and a Horse Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Holden Manz Avant Garde Chardonnay 201
    Holden Manz Chardonnay Reserve 2017
    La Motte Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Old Road Wine Company Juliette Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Plaisir De Merle Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

    Allée Bleue Shiraz 2017
    Allée Bleue Chenin Blanc 2018
    Babylonstoren Shiraz 2017
    Babylonstoren Chardonnay 2018
    Babylonstoren Sprankel 2014
    Black Elephant Vintners The Back Roads “Petite Sirah” 2017
    Black Elephant Vintners The Honey Thief
    Dieu Donné Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Dieu Donné Methode Cap Classique Blanc de Blanc 2017
    Dieu Donné Merlot 2017
    Franschhoek Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    GlenWood Vineyards Grand Duc Semillon/ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
    Grande Provence Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Grande Provence Chardonnay 2018
    Grande Provence Shiraz 2017
    La Bri Syrah 2016
    La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Leopard`s Leap Semi Sweet 2019
    Leopards Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Plaisir De Merle Shiraz 2016
    Plaisir De Merle Chardonnay 2018
    Old Road Wine Company Pardonnez – Moi Cinsaut 2019
    Old Road Wine Company 12 Mile Syrah 2017
    Old Road Wine Company The Fat Man Pinotage 2018
    Rickety Bridge Chardonnay 2018

    At the recent Veritas Awards Boschendal was awarded a Double Gold for its Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2016. Babylonstoren (Chardonnay 2018 and Shiraz 2017) and La Couronne (Malbec 2016) were each awarded Gold for their respective wines. Regarded as SA’s premier wine competition, the 2019 Veritas Awards, which took place on 11 October, awarded 1 411 medals in total this year, of which 76 were Double Gold and 198 Gold. The judging panel comprised five international and 95 local specialists, who spent a gruelling five days judging the wines by means of a blind tasting session.

  2. Franschhoek Vignerons Tickled Pink At Rosé Rocks

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    A competition dedicated entirely to Rosé and Franschhoek Vignerons scooped no less than 17 medals in total at this year’s Rosé Rocks competition. Eight Double Gold and seven Gold Medal winners  were awarded in the Still Wine category. In the MCC category Franschhoek Vignerons were awarded one Double Gold and one Gold medal, respectively.

    Image courtesy of Babylonstoren

    The first of its kind in SA, the competition seeks to not only acknowledge excellence in Rosé winemaking but also to in effect, promote the category in SA. The competition was chaired by leading industry influencer, Allan Mullins, who was joined on the judging panel by five other leading industry role players.

    The medal winners were as follows:

    Double Gold – Still Wine
    Bellingham The Quintessential Couple Rosé 2018
    Black Elephant Vintners Rosé Rebel 2019
    Boschendal Blanc De Noir 2019
    Boschendal The Rose Garden Rosé 2019
    Brampton Rosé 2019
    Haute Cabriere Pinot Noir Rosé 2019
    Holden Manz Rosé 2019
    La Couronne Merlot Rosé 2019
    Double Gold – MCC
    Pierre Jourdan Belle Rosé NV
    Gold – Still Wine
    Allée Bleue Starlette Shiraz Rosé 2019
    Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé 2019
    Bellingham Strawberry Rosé 2018
    Franschhoek Cellar Pinno Rosé 2018
    Holden Manz Rothko Rosé 2019
    Rickety Bridge Foundation Stone Rosé 2019
    Rickety Bridge Printer’s Devil Grenache Noir 2018
    Gold– MCC
    Boschendal Brut Rosé NV

    For more information on the competition and full results visit


  3. Big Win For Franschhoek Vignerons At Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show

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    Of the 956 wines judged from 206 producers, 32 gold medals were awarded and 24 trophies were awarded to deserving producers at the 2019 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. The announcement took place at a special awards event in Cape Town oearlier in June.

    Two of the big winners were Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards which scooped the Riedel Trophy for Best Bordeaux-Style Red Blend for its Culinaria Collection Grand Vin 2017, while Wildeberg was awarded Trophy for Best Semillon for their Wildeberg White 2018.

    The Culinaria Grand Vin is part of the Culinaria Collection, which is available exclusively off the farm, and is a celebration of the harmony in which food and wine complement one another – to create optimal enjoyment through mutual enhancement. The Culinaria Collection Grand Vin is best described as a wine showcasing complex layers, with aromas of vibrant red fruit, black currant and blueberry, perfectly integrated with subtle oak spices and a hint of dark chocolate in the after-taste. The ripe tannins ensure a firm, elegant structure. Without a doubt a sincere wine that will complement well-prepared red meat dishes.

    The maiden vintage Wildeberg White exemplifies the magic of Franschhoek, which is produced from 100% Semillon grapes and aged in new and older oak. On the palate the wine offers a citrus tang with a terrific mouthfeel. Described as a vast wine with layers of expression.

    Congratulations to both of these winners for a sterling performance.


  4. Celebrate today with a glass of Chardonnay!

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    There is no excuse not to open a bottle of your favourite Chardonnay today. So let us all raise our glasses to International Chardonnay day!

    Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV

    Chardonnay’s popularity makes it one of the most planted white varieties in the world – about 160 000 ha. It is also planted in more wine grape areas than any other grape variety.

    Together with Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay is one of the three most planted varieties in Franschhoek, and together with Semillon, it is regarded as the future of wine production in the Valley.

    Franschhoek Vineyards

    The Franschhoek Wine Valley is renowned for producing excellent Chardonnay, and one of the reasons for this (and possibly the single biggest differentiator) is the high diurnal temperature variation in the vineyards. The difference between the region’s day and night temperatures during the growing season fluctuate between 13 – 15˚C, and this large fluctuation allows for natural acid preservation in the berries at night (malic acid) and optimal sugar accumulation during the day without prolonged metabolic activity. This gives the area a wider spectrum and diversity of styles to play with when it comes to Chardonnay production, and in doing so creating optimal growing conditions for this popular grape variety. Although understanding all the variables can be a challenge, it is difficult to deny that Franschhoek Chardonnay has that special X-factor. The recognisable lime, citrus and cashew nut on the nose, a creamy texture with minerality on the palate and a lingering follow through. And as a tribute to the French Huguenot heritage of our area, Franschhoek Chardonnay often offers that oatmeal character some of the best French examples are known for.

    So now that you have opened that special bottle of Franschhoek Chardonnay, what exactly is the best way to serve and drink this wine? Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche from La Motte offers this great advice:

    “Chardonnay, like all wines, should be served in the correct glass and correct temperature. The classic Chardonnay glass has a big rounded bowl and a wide rim. This will decant the wine in the correct places on your palate. The temperature should be around 10 degrees celcius for wooded wines and maybe a little cooler for unwooded wines.” Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche

    La Motte Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche

    We have also asked Edmund to tell us a little more about the Chardonnay that they produce at La Motte:

    La Motte’s Chardonnay, like many other in Franschhoek is slightly wooded, with a creamy texture and juicy lemon citrus, nuts and out meal flavors. We pick it in different stages, ferment partly in different oak barrels and age it for 12 months to get a well balanced and integrated, complex wine. We aim towards a light to medium bodied wine to maintain finesse and freshness.” Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche.

    La Motte Chardonnay

    And if we look a little bit further than Franschhoek to our French counterparts, it seems like the Domaine Coche-Dury from Meursault, France has impressed GlenWood winemaker, DP Burger, the most! When we asked him what makes this specific bottle of wine so mindblowing and one of his favourites, he explained the following:

    I encountered this wine during my travels in Europe and it was truly a memorable experience when I tasted it for the first time! Beautifully integrated with an excellent strong yet subtle minerality. The 2008 vintage stands out in my mind and even this wine still had many years to reach full potential.” DP Burger (GlenWood).

    DP Burger (Glenwood Vineyards)

    So back to Franschhoek, we all know that this area is pretty serious about their food! As the gourmet capital of South Africa it is no doubt that you will find some of the best food and wine pairings around. So what is the best food to enjoy with a Chardonnay?

    Edmund Terblanche, Cellarmaster at La Motte said the following:

    “Chardonnay is very versatile with food but preferably those that contain cream, butter, cheese or something lightly smoked. Pastries and creamy fatty cheeses does well and any vegetarian dish which is not too acidic.”

    Try your hand at this delicious recipe created by La Motte for chicken with sorrel and lemon. Not only is it perfect for winter, but it is more than 300 years old! It comes from a cookbook titled De Verstandige Kock (ca. 1668) and has basically stayed unchanged.

    Chicken with sorrel and lemon (La Motte)

    Billet Magara, sommelier and tasting room manager at Paserene in Franschhoek, recommends that Chardonnay works particularly well with seafood dishes with a creamy sauce. In addition, creamy dishes with an Asian twist are also a great option. Billet’s favourite dish to enjoy with a glass of Chardonnay is butter chicken, but for the perfect pairing he recommends the Paserene Chardonnay with poached crayfish in tangy mayonnaise.

    Paserene Chardonnay

    Though it is nearly impossible to single out only a few Chardonnays from our Franschhoek producers because they are all so good, we have below highlighted some of our favourites that we know you will enjoy too!

    The Moreson Mercator Chardonnay 2017

    In 2018, Môreson’s Clayton Reabow was announced as the 2018 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year in the Chardonnay category for his Môreson Mercator Chardonnay 2017. Clayton is no stranger to this competition, winning the Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year Award in 2009. Clayton regards the Mercator as their benchmark white wine forming the pinnacle of Chardonnay production on Môreson Wines. With over 20 hectares of small vineyard parcels planted exclusively to Chardonnay, the Mercator has been grown and produced from two mature vineyards for the last 11 years. Only the cuvee juice is used in the production of this wine ensuring absolute pure fruit with delicate oak integration after being matured in French oak for 11 months. Like all great Chardonnay’s, the purpose is to produce a wine with focus, energy, precision and restraint.

    Moreson Mercator Chardonnay 2017

    Glenwood Chardonnay Grand Duc

    Regarded as their flagship wine, GlenWood’s Grand Duc Chardonnay has raked in an impressive number of awards. Amongst other it has received the Decanter Trophy for the best South African Chardonnay, the Old Mutual Wine Trophy Gold and Second Best Chardonnay in SA, Veritas Gold and Double Gold, Mundis Vini International Gold, Winemakers Choice Best White and Top  3 Chardonnays, numerous Veritas Double Gold awards and was listed on the 2017 Sommeliers Selection Wine List. Winemaker, DP Burger, who has been at the helm of this boutique wine estate for 25 years, describes the wine as showing outstanding oak and fruit integration. On the palate the wine displays a full, rich, creamy mouth feel of almonds and vanilla, resulting in a lingering aftertaste of smoky peach and citrus. The GlenWood currently produces three styles of Chardonnay, Grand Duc, Vignerons Selection and an Unoaked Chardonnay.  The grapes sourced for their wines are all vinified on GlenWood, thereby reflecting the unique terroir of the Franschhoek Wine Valley. The 2016 Grand Duc Chardonnay is available at R3300 per case of 6. 

    Glenwood Grand Duc Chardonnay 2016

    La Bri Chardonnay 2017

    Irene de Fleuriot, General Manager and Winemaker of La Bri and her team, produce a range of the most sublime wines, one of which is the La Bri Chardonnay 2017. The wine outdid itself in the Prescient Chardonnay 2018 Report in October by being scored 94 out of a hundred. The grapes for the La Bri Chardonnay 2017 come from a single 26-year Chardonnay block on the Estate. 

    La Bri Chardonnay 2017

    Haut Espoir 2018 Chardonnay

    In celebration of International Chardonnay Day on the 23rd Haut Espoir’s 2018 Chardonnay will be released and available to order. This 2018 Chardonnay was produced from a single vineyard, sourced from neighbouring farms in the Franschhoek valley. Typical flavours of citrus and lime are accompanied by a rich textured mouthfeel, due to the barrel ageing. The fresh acidity lingers on the aftertaste and makes this a well-balanced and rounded wine.

    Haut Espoir Chardonnay 2017

    Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV

    This Colmant Blanc de Blanc blend, created from a special selection of Chardonnay, is the epitome of Chardonnay expression – fine, elegant and fresh.  Colmant came out tops at the 2018 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, with their Brut Chardonnay NV being named the Best Blanc de Blancs at this prestigious industry event.  The Amorim Cap Classique Challenge is the only competition that focuses exclusively on Cap Classique.

    Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV

    Babylonstoren Chardonnay 2018

    The 2018 Babylonstoren Chardonnay is an old world style Chardonnay with a fresh, fine-grained nose of quince, lime and vanilla. It was recently included in the National Wine Challenge’s Top 100 SA Wines and received a Double Platinum award.  

    Babylonstoren Chardonnay 2018

    Holden Manz Chardonnay 2018

    The 2018 Chardonnay grapes are specially sourced and hand selected by Holden Manz’s Cellar Master from a ridge overlooking the ocean in Somerset West and a high-altitude slope on the side of the Simonsberg Mountain. These two locations are both relatively cool but for different physical influences. They combine magnificently to produce a rounded
    well-balanced wine. Grapes were harvested in two separate pickings from Somerset West adding to the complexity. Six month’s lees contact adds a creaminess and complexity, presenting an appealing full mouth and length.

    Holden Manz Chardonnay 2018

    Boschendal Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2016

    On the international front Boschendal was awarded Gold as well as the Trophy for Best South African Chardonnay at the 2018 International Wine Challenge for its Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2016.

    Boschendal Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2016

    Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016

    During the 2019 Platter’s Awards, Mullineux Wines not only received the award for Straw Wine of the Year for its Straw Wine 2017, but also walked away with the title of Chardonnay of the Year for its Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016.

    Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016

    With thanks to Edmund Terblanche (La Motte Wine Estate), DP Burger (GlenWood) and Billet Magara (Paserene Wines) for their inputs provided in this article.