Neethlingshof Wine Shines At Nedbank Green Wine Awards
The Maria 2014, the noble late harvest wine from celebrated Stellenbosch winery Neethlingshof, was lauded as one of SA’s top ‘green’ wines at the 6th Nedbank Green Wine Awards ceremony that took place last night (Thursday, 16 October). The Maria 2014 won the Bloggers’ Choice Award in the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) category and was awarded 4 stars, indicating an “excellent wine of distinction”. This coveted accolade acknowledges Neethlingshof’s commitment to making world-class wines through sustainable farming and wine making practices.
According to winemaker De Wet Viljoen, the creation of an environmentally friendly wine does not excuse one from the obligation of presenting the wine lover with a high quality wine. “The Maria has been classified as being sustainably produced, but the consumer does not have to buy this wine based purely on this noble conviction,” he says.
Grapes for The Maria 2014 wine were handpicked from Neethlingshof’s south-facing Weisser on the Hill and Sauvignon Blanc dry land vineyards, which are exposed to the cooling mists of False Bay. This terroir creates the ideal environment for botrytis cinerea (noble rot) to flourish – a condition producing grapes of concentrated intensity. The juice was fermented for 18 days with 24 hours’ skin contact.
The blend comprises 76% Weisser Riesling and 24% Sauvignon Blanc. It is golden yellow in colour, with concentrated flavours of fruit cake, honey and marmalade. It has an impeccable sugar acid balance.
The Maria is named after the resourceful and gutsy young widow Maria Magdalena Marais, who took over the building of the estate’s manor house – now a national monument – after the death of her husband, Charles, in 1813. Maria continued to develop a vibrant and viable farming operation that included 80 000 vines. The farm, once called Wolwedans, was renamed to Neethlingshof after a subsequent 19th century owner, Marthinus Laurentius Neethling, who served as mayor of Stellenbosch and was also a member of the old Cape Parliament.
Wines entered into the Nedbank Green Wine Awards are tasted blind and scored according to an internationally accepted 20-point/five-star system by esteemed wine experts including Christian Eedes, Fiona McDonald, Nomonde Kubheka, Francois Rautenbach and Winnie Bowman. Once the initial results are calculated by an auditor, the judges taste the five top-rated wines (red and white) again and rank them to determine a winner in the various categories.
The competition is organised on the back of statistics indicating wine consumers increasingly prefer more natural, eco-friendly and hand-made products.
The Maria 2014 will be available at public tastings planned for Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban in November.
For more information about Neethlingshof and its wines, visit www.neethlingshof.co.za, call 021 883 8988 or make contact on its Facebook page.
Details about the Cape Legends fine wines can be found at www.capelegends.co.za.