South Africa, Stellenbosch, September 2016: NEETHLINGSHOF Wine Estate has achieved what few competitors at this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) have. Every one of its wines entered were showered with medals while two were among the competition’s highest scorers.
“We’ve had exceptionally good years in terms of results,” says Neethlingshof winemaker De Wet Viljoen. “The IWSC standard is very high, which is why we view the gold medals as an indicator of all the hard work that has been done in the vineyards and the cellar.”
Among the wines entered for the competition by Neethlingshof this year was the entire Short Story collection. The Neethlingshof Malbec 2015 and Neethlingshof Owl Post Pinotage 2014 were each certified Gold Outstanding, which denotes a score of 93 and above what judges rate as “quality of the highest order”. The Neethlingshof Six Flowers 2015 won Gold for wines deemed a “superior example and setting the standard” while the Neethlingshof Gewurtztraminer 2016 claimed Silver Outstanding for wine that is an “outstanding example of excellent quality”.
Now in its 47th year, the UK-based International Wine & Spirit Competition annually receives entries from some 90 countries. Among the most authoritative of their kind, the IWSC panels of experts assess entries over seven months of the year in a process that involves double-blind judging as well as a chemical and microbiological analysis.
Further highlighting Neethlingshof’s achievement at the IWSC, only nine South African wines received Gold Outstanding. In their report of results, the competition organisers remarked on the particularly high standard of South African wine entries this year.
De Wet ascribes the achievements to the “intense focus” the farm has placed on its vineyards to produce only the best quality fruit. “Viticulturist Hannes van Zyl puts in a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve this goal, along with all the teams involved, from the vineyards through to the marketers who sell our wine,” he says.
Neethlingshof Wine Estate lies in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands and is flanked by the Bottelary Hills and Papegaaisberg Mountains. It has more than a dozen distinguishable terroirs that allows grape varieties to be matched perfectly with the best soil, aspect and climatic conditions.
This understanding is borne only as it can – of the farm’s 300-year heritage; and, a custodial respect for the land itself.
Along with the beautiful manor house, the estate is steeped in history distinguished by the beautiful avenue of stone pines. In addition, Neethlingshof is a member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) and set aside land for conservation.
Its wines tell the story of their provenance. The Neethlingshof reserve tier, the Short Story Collection, draws attention to Neethlingshof’s rich and varied narratives based on its philosophy and history. For example, the Owl Post refers to the estate’s integrated pest management programme that includes the strategic placement of owl posts; and, Six Flowers highlights the contribution of matriarch Maria Magdalena Marais and the six white cultivars planted on the estate.
For more information on Neethlingshof’s extensive wine range and other offerings, visit www.neethlingshof.co.za.