Nederburg Wine Farm in the Paarl Wine Valley is known and regarded around the world for their superb production. This is achieved by maintaining a non-compromising ethos that managed to run like a common thread between estate owners and their wine makers over the last two centuries.
Ever since the farm was first bought from the Dutch commissioner, Nederburgh (hence the name), in 1791, it was set as a commercial winery, producing white wines.
Navigating through ups and downs over the years, Nederburg was bought in 1937 by Johann Graue, a viticulturist that chose to depart Germany and the world renowned family business he was part of, Beck beer.
With his knowledge came the understanding that Cape Town’s physical conditions and weather are not similar to Europe and is actually opposed. He recognised a critical need to move from cool climate to warm climate vines. Together with his son, Arnold, who studied the art of wine making in Europe too, they pruned all the vines and started winning all the local awards.
That, in its turn, got the Nederburg wines continued international appraisals and accolades, carrying the brand’s name to any wine loving society globally.
Two more wine makers down the line – A German, Günter Brözel, that introduced Tuscan vines and a Romanian, Razvan Macici, that planted Mediterranean vines – all changes were for the best. Nederburg wines are the most awarded in South Africa.
This is achieved not only by the high quality of the grapes, but also by using a blending method known from Brandy productions. Each vintage release contains a mix of wines from different years, layering and deepening the taste, reaching a complexity that is well accepted.
Among wine connoisseurs, Nederburg is known for the yearly auction, called the ‘Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction’. It started in 1975 as the ‘Nederburg Auction’, after a visit by a Sotheby’s representative to the farm. The auction included 6 wine estates and 140 potential buyers. Today there are over 60 wineries and over a 1000 international, by appointment buyers, participating in this September event, distributing the fruits of the auction to all corners of the world.
On our visit to Nederburg we asked if there is a chance for amateurs to buy and age wines without owning their own maturation facility. It turns out to be that with careful storage in a cool, dark place anyone is welcome to try and enjoy the discovery of a preserved bottle.
We were advised to try the Brew Master Bordeaux Blend from the Heritage Heroes series (R200), the II Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon which is available only at the estate’s tasting room (R450) and The Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon which can be matured to the extent of 5-7 years (R100).
In the homey tasting room, you can choose from a range of pairings including one for the kiddies or add a cheese platter to your experience. Cheeses are sourced from Foxenburg farm outside of Wellington. Yet, a visit on a beautiful day calls to enjoy the nurtured outdoors.
A range of picnic baskets is available to pre-order including an option for children, but nothing will match dining at The Red Table restaurant, located in the fully restored Manor House and the large sitting verandah that looks over a large lawn and the vines behind.
It is a classic, à la carte menu restaurant with formal, crisp white linen tables in the old lounge, classic cast iron tables and chairs are located below the old Oak trees on the verandah and less formal, low outdoor furniture is available next to the jungle gym.
The menu, designed and delivered by head chef Lisa Cilliers, is seasonally adapted to compliment the climate. Vegetarian dishes are readily available and special dietary needs are gladly accommodated. A wide selection of Nederburg wines are offered by the glass and the entire range can be enjoyed by the bottle.
Lastly, if you are interested in carrying forward all the good you experienced so far, pop into the Quabeka Bicycle Assembly Facility and help tighten a few screws for a while. Qhubeka (which means “to progress”), is an organisation that mobilises for socio-economic progress, by distributing bicycles to needy South Africans in exchange for work done to improve the environment, community or academic results. Bikes let riders carry more books, more goods for sale, more medicines and other supplies that they can distribute amongst communities. Since its inception in 2005, Qhubeka has distributed bicycles to over 90 000 South Africans.
Nederburg is open 7 days a week and only closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Large groups and foreign language tours are by prior appointment.
August 22, 2019
August 12, 2019
July 23, 2019