Neethlingshof launches its first wooded white

Tuesday, 29 January, 2013
The Neethlingshof estate outside Stellenbosch has launched its first wooded white wine, a blend of the six white cultivars that grow on the farm.
Called The Six Flowers, it forms part of the estate’s exclusive Short Story Collection range which includes two reds – The Owl Post Pinotage and The Caracal Bordeaux blend - in addition to The Maria, its much awarded noble late harvest wine.

The Maria was named for Maria Marais, the feisty widow of Charles Marais who dominated life on Neethlingshof for close on 50 years in the early 1800s. She is indirectly also responsible for the name of the new wine.

She and her husband bought the property in 1788. He died 25 years later, in 1813, leaving her the farm and the care of their five children. At the time of his death they were building their beautiful homestead which is today a national monument. She completed the building with the help of her farm workers and with her own hands sculpted in the gable six flowers as a decorative element. The flowers were for her a subtle way of commemorating herself and her five children.

Winemaker De Wet Viljoen said he wanted to extend the estate’s product line-up with a top-quality wooded white wine which would be complex and well balanced.”I think this wine offers exactly that. Chenin blanc and Chardonnay dominate the blend with 30% each, followed by Sauvignon blanc (20%) and Viognier (10%). The wine has been rounded off with the addition of small quantities of Gewürztraminer and Weisser Riesling.

“With this wine we also celebrate the completion of the comprehensive, scientifically based replanting of the entire estate which has been on the go for more than a decade. By choosing the correct location for each cultivar and by selecting the best clones for each, it has been possible to noticeably enhance the natural flavour and aroma of the grapes we harvest today. The improved quality of the grapes comes through very strongly in the new wine.”

De Wet said the grapes of the different cultivars were vinified separately and then matured for eight months in new French oak barrels before blending. The wine, which sells for about R80 per bottle, can at present be bought only on the estate and from the Vinoteque, but will in time be available nationally.

Neethlingshof marketing manager Anabelle Fouché said the flowers depicted on the label belong to the Hesperantha family. Widely dispersed in especially the indigenous Renosterveld vegetation of the Western Cape, they are also known as evening flowers. They were chosen to also commemorate the extensive work done during the replanting programme to re-establish the rich diversity of indigenous vegetation which in years gone by had flourished on Neethlingshof.
De Wet Viljoen
De Wet Viljoen

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