July's Wine Club
Once a month, we host a wine tasting event to showcase the wines that our beautiful region has to offer. This month, the Worcester Wine Route crossed borders and was hosted by Mariette Coetzee, who is the Winemaker of Stoffberg Family Vineyards. What a wonderful treat it was. She spoke briefly about the history of the farm, what inspires her to make wine, and her wine-making process.
She has two different wine ranges, an entry level range which is called Mia, named after her daughter, and her flagship range, called Mariette.
As we have mentioned before, your love and knowledge for wine can only grow, and it certainly does at our Wine Club. The wine that caused a mind blow experience, was her Pinot Blanc. Most of us at the tasting had never heard of a Pinot Blanc before. Apparently Pinot Blanc is a very popular wine and can be quite commonly found in Europe. Clearly not in South Africa, it is almost like trying to find hens teeth. There is only about 8 hectares of Pinot Noir grown in our Winelands. That is minuscule!
After doing some further research, there are only two wineries that make 100% Pinot Blanc; that is Mariette herself, and Lanzerac Wines, there are a few other farms that use it in a blend. So what makes Pinot Blanc special? Pinot Blanc is a Pinot Noir! But how can that be? Is Pinot Blanc not a white wine and Pinot Noir a red? Well wine friends, Pinot Noir is genetically quite unstable, sometimes there is an occurrence what wine techies call a "Point Mutation". This is where a vine would bear dark grapes, except for one canopy which will produce white grapes.
The other wine that totally stood out for us was a wonderful initiative by Mariette. A beautiful Chardonnay crafted by Israel Delport. When Israel left school at the young age of 16, he started working at the cellar as a general farm worker. Through hard work, eagerness to learn, and always helping with a huge smile, he had grown as an individual. During the off seasons, when things are a little quiet in the cellar, he started studying. He soon found his passion. After completing two seasons in the cellar and his cellar workers course, he had the privilege to be selected from many to represent South Africa on an exchange program in France!! How exciting! The knowledge and experience he had gained during his visit in France, proved to be successful and with the wonderful guidance of Mariette herself, he crafted his own Chardonnay.
Wine friends, what a wonderful wine it is! A pale straw colour with a beautiful golden tinge, aroma's of pears and golden delicious apples on the nose. Soft and beautiful hints of vanilla and butterscotch on the palette. The perfect amount of acidity makes this wine soft and smooth. This wine, takes Chardonnay on a completely different level!
We were sad the evening came to an end, but definitely walked away with a wealth of knowledge. So where will the wine tasting club meet next month? Well, you better watch this space and keep an eye open for the next invitation. We promise it is going to be exciting!