De Wetshof's Nature in Concert Pinot Noir Wins Gran D'Or at Michelangelo Competition

Wednesday, 11 September, 2013
De Wetshof Estate
When the De Wet family of De Wetshof decided in 1999 to plant Pinot Noir vines for the making of still wine and not bubbly, it was a move one could politely term as "unconventional". Popular belief being that this noble Burgundian red grape could only possibly deliver a decent wine in cool, high-rainfall regions close to the harsh ocean elements, factors Robertson would appear not to have been blessed with.
The decision has been vindicated, however. Not only has the Danie de Wet Nature in Concert become one of South Africa's best-loved Pinot Noirs due to its unique plush and elegant style, but it has been no slouch in winning medals at wine competitions. The wine from the 2009 vintage recently became one of only a handful of entries to win a Gran D'Or at the Michelangelo Wine Awards, one of South Africa's leading wine competitions.

De Wetshof wine-maker Peter de Wet says the Nature in Concert Pinot Noir is the result of the pioneering spirit that has always prevailed on De Wetshof. 

"When my father, Danie, decided to plant Chardonnay in Robertson in the early 1980's, he was also entering unchartered territory," says Peter. "But belief in De Wetshof's terroir, climate and the importance of site-specific vineyards in wine production vindicated his decision, and the stunning quality of our Pinot Noir is a result of the same pioneering spirit and confidence in nature."

Planting Pinot Noir on a southerly slope some 90kms from the Indian Ocean was, however, made easier with scientific in-put, as well as the advice from De Wetshof viticulture consultant Phil Freese who also believed in the Robertson area's potential for  Pinot Noir.

"Satellite images identified soils best-suited for Pinot Noir, mainly mountain gravel with our signature high chalk component," says Peter de Wet. "And with the slopes being in the face of the cooling summer breeze, together with controlled drip-irrigation, the vines settled extremely well and are now producing a Pinot Noir of true unique character. 

"The Nature in Concert has built-up something of a cult following with loyal supporters in the restaurant industry and the public in general. I think the reason is that the wine is truly Pinot Noir on the nose and palate, but the plushness and exuberant fruit structure make it a truly delicious and satisfying wine.

"And at the end of the day, on De Wetshof we only make wines for which the family has a true passion and which we enjoy at the table or anywhere else,  be it Chardonnay, Riesling, MCC or Pinot Noir."