Having recently tasted our wines at the Oldenburg Vineyards Release Tasting in London,
Anne Krebiehl MW writes for Falstaff.com:
Stellenbosch has long been a premium wine region – but Oldenburg sets a different accent by virtue of altitude and defining a real sense of place.
Rondekop – a magic mountain?
The Oldenburg winery is located in the highest altitude ward of Stellenbosch, its vineyards are planted on the slopes of the Rondekop mountain which rises to 410m – and the average temperatures are thus 3-4 degrees Celsius cooler. The singular area benefits from the influences of both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, on either side of the Cape, lovely cool winds and more rainfall.
A return to childhood idylls
For owner Adrian Vanderspuy who grew up in the United States but returned to South Africa for Christmas holidays to his grandparents’ farm every year as a child, this is a return to that idyll. He bought the land and former fruit farm in 2003, planted vines in 2004 and 2007 was the first harvest. The first official vintage that was commercialised was in 2010, when the wines were still made at another winery. In 2019, a state-of-the-art winery was built and winemaker Nic van Aarde came on board. He speaks obsessively about the beauty of the place.
Joining a cult
The Rondekop is an outcrop and thus has been planted all the way round, giving a 360-degree- aspect, and allowing for different wine styles, depending on exposure. The soils towards the top are granitic, further down there is sandstone known as koffieklip, or coffee stone, an iron-rich sandstone formation, and further down the hill are alluvial soils. Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and some Grenache are planted in the places best suited to their needs. Nic van Aarde, who is given free hand as a winemaker, says working at Oldenburg in these vineyards is “like joining a cult”. Tasting his wines – from that magical mountain – I can see why he says that. They are wonderfully vivid and bright.
Link to the original article, as published on Falstaff.com