New winemaker: La Vierge brings one of our own back

Thursday, 10 January, 2013
Bulelwa Matiwane
La Vierge, a private wine estate, situated in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley is known for their quirky collection of wines. The immaculate vineyards, planted in the early 2000’s on the varied shale slopes of the Bokkeveld series, produces true cool climate wines.

The La Vierge Collection consists of three white wines, three red blends and a Pinot Noir. La Vierge has become synonymous with quality Pinot Noir and with this focus, they are welcoming Gerhard Smith to the team as the newly appointed winemaker. Smith has been working abroad at the Gladstone Vineyard in Wairarapa, New Zealand for the past eight years where he managed the 250 ton winery.

“I am excited about the prospects at La Vierge and share their passionate approach to producing only the finest wines”, says Smith. “My winemaking philosophy is a very simple one. I believe in wines with great balance, elegance and texture. Attention to detail in all aspects of producing a great wine are linked, from the first actions in the vineyard to the finishing touches at bottling. First grow great grapes, handle them respectfully and with minimal interference in the winery. Trust your palate, know and believe in what you are trying to achieve and have the courage to follow through on your convictions.”

La Vierge produces the ultra premium - ‘The Black Madonna’ albeit officially labelled the La Vierge Noir. Smith has had a love affair with this cultivar which he has refined in New Zealand. “When I started working with this great cultivar I was surprised by its unique combination of ethereal elegance, subtle power and wide flavour spectrum. It is easy to fall in love with wines with such floral delicacy, dark brooding fruit and savoury spice notes, all from the same varietal. It always leaves you wanting more”, adds Smith.
Highlights in his career include four wine making experiences in France, USA and Australia during the early 2000’s at prestigious wineries such as Chateau La Rose Cotes Roll, Columbia Crest Winery and Wynns Estate.

Being awarded with the Trophy for the best Pinot Noir at the Australian Winemakers Awards 2012 and The Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Competition 2010 is an accolade to this winemaker’s drive to produce high quality wines.
“We are pleased that Gerhard is joining the La Vierge team and we are looking forward to working closely with him. Bringing with him some interesting innovative experiences, especially with Pinot Noir, we urge you to watch this space.” comments Uschi Van Zweel, General Manager at La Vierge.

La Vierge encourages consumers to enjoy their products responsibly. Products are not for sale to persons under the age of 18.