Bellevue Estate puts Morkel brand boldly upfront

Friday, 5 November, 2004
Bellevue Wines
Rebranding prestige wines with established family name.

The name sounds as mellifluous as the place of wine farming that inspired it and has consistently produced some of the Cape's finest. It has been around for a long, long time, winning an increasing number of followers and prizes.

But, in all good schemes of things, change happens for the better purpose - in this case exactly because the award-winning wines are reaching an ever-widening audience and finding ever-greater acclamation and appeal.

The name Bellevue on the labels of the classy bottles coming from Dirkie Morkel's wine estate in Stellenbosch's Bottelary region is being replaced by the family name. Boldly boasting Morkel, it is pitched as their brand of the future, but the look of the handsome packaging will not change.

While the farm's name has a broad resonance, locally and overseas, being French, it complicates matters in Europe. In some instances it has been registered as a trade name.

Reclaiming the family name on the label, as it were, makes plenty of sense - not the least of it, for its standout singleness. Morkel is a name with deep Cape cultural roots, and in the wine industry it is associated with being home of pinotage, planted in 1953. Last year the cellar celebrated the fiftieth anniversary with the oldest pinotage vineyard.

In recent times, pinotage and other premium red varieties and blends, made by owner-viticulturist Dirkie Morkel and winemaker Wilhelm Kritzinger, have upped the ante with virtually every vintage, winning awards as they are released.

Most recent is the newly-named Morkel Tumara 2002 that won a gold medal at the 2004 Veritas competition last week.

The 'new', but actually 'old', name on the label also confirms the personal, hands-on philosophy of Dirkie Morkel, who has been nurturing this prestige place for near 25 years. It is significant that the estate's original name is still clearly to be seen on the slightly changed label.

The wines now available under the more 'personal' label are Morkel Sauvignon Blanc 2004, Morkel Petit Verdot 2003, Morkel Pinotage 2003, the award-winning Morkel Tumara 2002 and Morkel Rozanne 2003.

More information: Heidi Kritzinger Tel. 021-8652055