Friday, October 24, 2014

A special tasting of the De Wetshof wines

Bennie Stipp, Marketing manager at De Wetshof, heard we were coming to Wine on the River and invited us to come and do a special tasting on the farm of their current and a couple of older wines and then have lunch with the family at their home. We tasted through six of their really impressive Chardonnays, their 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Riesling, 2010 Nature in Concert Pinot Noir, 2013 Naissance Cabernet and their 2010 Bordeaux blend, Thibault. This is a farm that has produced serious quality, consistently. We tasted with brothers Johann (viticulture and marketing) and Peter (winemaker) de Wet. The chardonnays are very site specific and have made De Wetshof famous. Father Danie de Wet is the person who first introduced chardonnay vines into South Africa and they make it with such passion and commitment. Then we were treated to a visit to the private family home for a lovely lunch of Smoor Snoek, country Lamb chops with all the accompaniments and a delicious dessert. We thank them all for their very kind hospitality and great wines.
The very French style avenue of Plane trees taking you to the main building which holds the Tasting room . The De Wet ancestors arrived at the Cape in 1694 and the family has been involved in the wine industry ever since. The family bought this farm in 1952.
Two family horses grazing in their paddock
Spring vines reaching for the sun
The very imposing main building. The wine cellars are next to it and behind it
The entrance and grand staircase
THE ground floor is set up for tasting and relaxing
Beamed ceiling, and flagstone floor and good wood used on windows pillars and doors
A marvellous bronze Bateleur Eagle in flight. Bateleur is one of the Estate's premium chardonnays
Mrs de Wet and the new addition to the family, a teenage Weimaraner belonging to Johann’s wife
Talking with Mrs Lesca de Wet and son Johann
We move to the upstairs tasting room. Lynne needs her notebook for the tasting
Just waiting for Peter to join us
These are the wines we tasted: Danie de Wet Sur Lie Chardonnay 2014; Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2014; Bon Vallon Chardonnay 2014; Finesse Chardonnay 2013; The Site Chardonnay 2013; Bateleur Chardonnay 2012; 2014 Sauvignon Blanc; 2012 Riesling; 2010 Nature in Concert Pinot Noir; 2013 Naissance Cabernet and the 2010 Estate Bordeaux blend Thibault. All, without exception are excellent expressions of their cultivars and their terroir
Three different chardonnays
Their bottles
Johann took us through the flight of white wines
Wine tasting is boring for a good and patient dog
A lovely vista from an upstairs window
Winemaker Peter de Wet ready to take us through some wines
We learn more about the farm
Two more excellent wines. The Riesling must be influenced by Peter de Wet’s training at Geisenheim in Germany
We learn of their passion for red wines as well as the white
What we tasted
Conversation at the table
Benny Stipp joined us for lunch
Danie de Wet
The Thibault is named after Louis Michel Thibault whose designs inspired the main building
Johann in front of a picture of an ancestor. We see a family resemblance
Peter looking happy and relaxed
This is an ancestor of Lesca de Wet and we also saw family characteristics
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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