I am sitting on the front stoep of The Homestead, wondering where to find the pause button to press. The year has flown by, and we are heading into the final stretch of another eventful year. As I write, I pause, and my eyes rest on a point on the horizon where the cobalt blue sky meets the primordial mountains that tower over us. The two jasmine creepers on either side of the stoep are in full bloom, giving off a heady, mesmerising scent that holds me in a lovely trance – it is pretty tough to keep writing!
Focus! Earlier in the month, we had the pleasure of my son Max’s company on the farm, and he again performed his magic to create a short video about The Tasting Room. It is A Room with The View, and has so many similarities to the stoep where I now sit. Almost everyone who visits comments on the extraordinary view and the juxtaposition of the vineyards to the primordial mountain backdrop. I am proud of what we have achieved with The Tasting Room. – run by Head Somm Stefan and his excellent team. It is fast becoming known as one of the tremendous wine-tasting experiences in the Cape. I do hope you enjoy the video.
One of the highlights of the year for me is the accelerating traction of the South African wine industry in global markets. This trend is strong and will have longevity – it could be the positive game-changer that the sector has been deserving of for several years. We continue to meet new, interested buyers worldwide who tell us that their customers are asking for South African wines and do not have any in their portfolios.
It is an exciting time for us at Oldenburg. Our wines are becoming recognised, with the Oldenburg Vineyards Chardonnay 2021 picking up a Platter 5 Star for the first time earlier in the month. I have previously discussed our deep conviction about the high potential of Stellenbosch Chardonnay, or – more accurately – Banghoek Chardonnay (our tiny appellation where our confidence lies). Our perfect soils, wide diurnal temperatures and cool nights create the ideal foundation for something exceptional. We are happy to have the proof in the bottle. Bravo to Nic, Christo and their team!
Talking to prospective customers, we always say that ‘feet on the farm’ is an essential part of the journey in terms of a complete understanding of what we are all about. During the month, we have had several high-profile and successful visits from Red and White Wines from Norway, Goedhuis Fine Wine Merchants in the UK, 1275 Fine Wine Collections and a large group of sommeliers, to name a few. It is always great when people who really know wine, walk the farm and have that “A ha!” moment.
A walk around the vineyards is the best way to truly understand our terroir, and see the intricate detail essential to successfully managing them. Earlier this month, I presented a masterclass at 67 Pall Mall in Singapore (which in itself is a must-visit, if you can find a way in). It is always difficult to relay my excitement for the potential of our vineyards; however, I think this year I have finally worked out what viticulture is all about: producing the best possible berry that one’s site and the vine can make, and then attempting to replicate this with minimal dispersion. My excitement stems from the confidence I have that Nic and Christo are running things. We are now getting very good at achieving our goals.
As this is our final Oldenburg Vineyards’ Views for the year, I would like to thank all our customers worldwide for their continued support. Equally, everyone on the Oldenburg Team has contributed to the strong momentum the business now has, and I am deeply grateful for their individual and collective efforts.
Oldenburg, with its vineyards on Rondekop, is an extraordinary place. I hope you will soon find your way to The Tasting Room and enjoy A Room with The View. In the meantime, from all of us on the farm we wish you a safe and happy conclusion to 2022.