A vine is a truly wonderful plant, and does not ask for much: planting in the correct soils conducive to its relevant variety, as well as sufficient sunlight for bud-break, flowering and to ripen the grapes. A splash of water to nourish the roots that can creep down to over two metres beneath the surface.

But if there is one requirement that a vine would ask for if it could, it is a cold winter. The plant puts in a lot of hard work during spring and summer. It uses all the energy it can get, and once grape-bunches have been picked, you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief rustling from the vineyard. This is no surprise, as the plant has worked non-stop for almost six months – sometimes longer.

And just like a human might want to a respite, the vine now asks for a long period of rest to recover from the strain of the past months, as well as to build up energy and reserves for spring, when the work of growth, photosynthesis and giving new life begins all over again.

This period of dormancy cold temperatures for the vines to reach a deep state of nourishing slumber. But, and this is very important, a vine can’t go into a decent sleep if it is hungry. That is why wine farmers hold their thumbs for rain to fall after the harvest, allowing the vines to replenish themselves and to absorb sufficient nutrients from the soil to get them through the winter.

Right now we can use a bit more rain, but temperatures are cold, and that is good. Night-time degrees drop below zero, and mornings are washed with frosty whiteness. Hopefully the good winter rains are still to come, and if they were awake, the vines would be holding their thumbs as tightly as we are.

A Peruvian Party for Limestone Hill 2016
De Wetshof Limestone Hill, one of our three un-wooded Chardonnays, has become extremely popular in its sector over the past few years – not only among South African consumers who enjoy an approachable, fresh Chardonnay without barrel-aging, but also in the export markets.

A fun event to launch the 2016 vintage of this delicious wine was recently held at Charango, a trendy Peruvian restaurant in Cape Town. Selected members of the media were invited to sample Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2016 with a delectable array of Peruvian dishes prepared by Chef Kieran Whyte. Prawn Tostados, Tuna Tataki, a diverse range of tacos and the most delicious pork belly were served, and everyone present agreed that Limestone Hill is a multi-talented wine that can complement almost any dish.

As with all De Wetshof’s Chardonnays, Limestone Hill is made from vineyards situated on a site where the soils and climate give this wine its individual character and unique flavour profile. Not only is it a wine that appeals to the easy-going wine lover and the stylishness of the modern consumer, but it also allows its growing number of fans to experience the quality and structure of a site-specific Chardonnay. This is the ethos driving the complete De Wetshof range, and we believe wines true to their place of origin will always have the final say in today’s competitive wine market.

Wacky Wine Weekend
This event, always held during the first weekend of June, has been an integral part of the South African wine industry calendar for over a decade. This year’s Wacky Wine was held in gorgeous golden autumn weather.

As per usual, De Wetshof focused on style, quality and the diversity of our wine range, complemented by some delicious food, courtesy of award-winning chef Bernhard Hess from the Mimosa Lodge in Montagu.

Our complete range of wines were available for tasting and purchase. Those who wanted to learn more could do so during an informative presentation held by Johann de Wet in the atmospheric barrel cellar. Johann presented a range of De Wetshof’s Chardonnays, interspersed with one from Burgundy to offer attendees a broader look at this fascinating grape variety. The temperature being cool in the underground barrel cellar, a few of De Wetshof’s red wines were also presented. The Nature in Concert Pinot Noir seems to be accumulating an avid following. And the Thibault red Bordeaux blend is growing in stature. A French Bordeaux was also introduced next to the Thibault, broadening horizons and adding to the excitement of the narrative.

The De Wets’ family and friends joined us at tables laden with sushi, grilled fish, succulent steak and oysters, while our friends from the media spent a few happy hours with us – lingering in the tasting room right up until closing time. Another week-end to be remembered.

Gourmet Dinner with Selected Vintage Chardonnays at Robertson Slow
A gourmet five-course dinner, especially prepared by Chef Bernhard Hess and paired with vintage Chardonnay wines selected from the De Wetshof Estate’s vinoteque, awaits visitors to this year’s Robertson Slow Festival which takes place from 5 to 7 August.

The dinner, held on Friday 5 August, will be a once-of-event.

Aside from the sumptuous five-course meal, wine lovers are in for a treat. Rare and mature De Wetshof Chardonnays which are not readily available on the market, will be served with the dinner held in the auspicious De Wetshof main building.

Johann de Wet from De Wetshof will be present to introduce and discuss the wines, in what promises to be a unique, engaging and personal event.

Only 25 places are available at R650 per person. The evening begins at 19:00 with drinks and canapés. For bookings contact: Heinrich Bothman at De Wetshof on +27.236151853 or frontdesk@dewetshof.com.

As always, we look forward to welcoming you on our Estate. There is a log fire burning, plenty of soul-warming wine and a bit of conversation, if required. Enjoy winter!

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