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Two trophies for Neethlingshof at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show

Neethlingshof in Stellenbosch has won the trophy for the Best Dessert Museum Class Wine and also the overall Best Museum Class Wine for its 2009 Neethlingshof Short Story Collection Maria Noble Late Harvest at this year's Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show.

Two trophies for Neethlingshof at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show
“We are extremely happy to see this wine recognised at the Trophy Wine Show,” said De Wet Viljoen, who has been Neethlingshof cellar master since 2003. “The accolade reaffirms Neethlingshof’s ability to deliver consistent quality and excellence. It’s also a credit to every member of the wine-making team.”

Viljoen said that the professionally arranged competition enjoys high regard because it makes use of experienced international and local judges that evaluate the wines strictly, in ways that indicate integrity and credibility.

The fact that 2009 was among the country’s best vintages ever makes the achievement of the Neethlingshof Maria even more significant. “The wines of that year all show great balance, elegance and longevity. Our Riesling is no exception,” said Viljoen. “We are privileged as a result of the vineyard’s location and that it regularly contracts botrytis. In 2009, however, we had above-average levels of the noble rot and this is reflected in the wine.”

The woman who started it all

The Maria Noble Late Harvest honours the woman who started it all and is part of Neethlingshof’s Short Story Collection of fine wines, established to unite the biodiversity and history of the estate with the quality of its vineyards.

The farm’s history goes back over two centuries, to 1788 when Charles Marais and his 18-year old wife Maria purchased the farm in what would become the modern-day Stellenboschkloof.

The couple immediately set about expanding the vineyards and constructing a wine cellar, and in 1814 the landmark manor house was finally completed. Sadly, Charles had died the previous year, but the young widow continued to plough her efforts and fortunes into the estate. She later added more land and vines to the farm before selling the estate to her son-in-law, Johannes Henoch Neethling. And so, the name of Neethlingshof was born.

Today the 378-hectare estate has a rich heritage that is reflected from the whitewashed cellar overlooking the vineyards to the iconic avenue of stone pines that lead up towards the stately manor house.

Equally impressive wines

The Neethlingshof Short Story Collection also includes equally impressive wines.

The Owl Post Pinotage is named for the dozens of owl posts that have been erected across the farm to encourage these nocturnal predators into the vineyards: a sustainable and eco-friendly means of controlling pests on the estate; and, Six Flowers, a champion white wine blend named after the floral blooms carved on the gable of the historic manor house. Another of the farm’s conservation successes has been the return of caracal to the property. This elusive cat is celebrated in The Caracal, a classic Bordeaux-style red-blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot.

Neethlingshof is part of Distell Luxury Wines, a collection of superlative quality, award-winning wines from several boutique estates situated in and around the Cape Winelands. For more information about Neethlingshof and its wines, go to www.neethlingshof.co.za, call +27 (0) 21 883 8988 or make contact on www.facebook.com/neethlingshof (or via Twitter @NeethlingshofW).

The wines, available at retail outlets nationwide, are found on many restaurant wine lists and can also be delivered to your door when purchased online through the Vinotèque.


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