Vilafonte Wine Paarl
This is the first American/South African joint venture partnership between Californians Zelma Long, former ground-breaking winemaker at SIMI, viticulturalist Phil Freese and Mike Ratcliffe MD of WARWICK ESTATE in Stellenbosch. The focus here is very much on producing a luxury wine brand, of which there are few in the Cape, targetting the US market specifically. Just two wines are produced and this will remain the case. The wines are produced in a full and ripe style with alcohol levels approaching 15 degrees but with an impressive refinement and elegance as well. The estate totals 40 ha on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountain planted in gravelly-clay soils with a north-westerly exposure. The vines are all Bordeaux varieties in very close spaced vineyards (for South Africa) with over 5,000 vines per hectare. Series M is essentially a Right Bank style, comprising Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, rich and fleshy with concentrated black fruits and finely structured backbone. Series C is very much Bordeaux Left Bank, firm and structured for long ageing it is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc and some Merlot adding a little flesh. Winemaking is “micromanaged” in the words of the winery, extreme care in sorting and indigenous yeasts are used to encourage a sense of place. Certainly the wines have real potential and as yet are reasonably priced in the context of other luxury wine brands from elsewhere. (DM)
❁ Vilafonte Wine Paarl www.vilafonte.co.za
Vilafonte partnership Unit 7 Lower Dorp Street, Bosman’s Crossing, Stellenbosch, 7600
Tel: 21 884-4410 Fax: 21 884-4025
To find out more about Vilafonte and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide South Africa..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …