The magic of “De Liefde”
“De Liefde” farm situated approx 10km from Wolseley in the Western Cape of South Africa. De Liefde is the source of our Shiraz grapes for the Bizoe Estalet Syrah since 2008.
How did we find this magical piece of vineyard? I was lucky enough to work at Mountain Ridge Wines after completing my degree at The University of Stellenbosch in Oenology and Viticulture. Mountain Ridge Wines what is called a Co-op in South Africa is one of those hidden gems that has been the stomping ground for some of South Africa leading winemakers. Winemakers in like Eben Sadie from Sadie Family Wines and Bartho Eksteen from Bartho Eksteen Wines has worked under legend winemaker Olla Olivier at Mountain Ridge or as it was called Romansrivier back in the day.
Getting my first Assistant Winemaker position under Francois Agenbag in 2007, I have met Org Viljoen (Alberts late dad) then owner of De Liefde. There was always something different on the days Org grapes was harvested. The whole of the cellar got to a standstill and waiting on Org to arrive with his grapes. Special tanks were kept open for Org. Typically in a Co-op grapes from different farms gets harvested together but not Org’s grapes. It wasn’t because of Org but rather on the quality of the grapes that was grown on De Liefde. It was and is just different.
Remembering the day “Oom Org” told me the story when he planted the Shiraz grapes we use today still. He approached as he called the “wise men” in the industry for advice what to plant on De Liefde. Presenting them with soil samples they advised him to rather start a brick factory. The soil consist of a high density of clay and not conducive for the growing of grapes. Today I am fortunate enough to be buying grapes from Org and Albert since 2008. The vineyard just year after year producing amazing grapes.
De Liefde grapes is also each year the last grapes to arrive in the cellar. There can’t be better people owing that property. The passion Albert has inherited from his dad and love for De Liefde is magical. Thanks to Albert for the love and care he puts into his grapes. We are looking forward to write about the Bizoe Estalet Syrah 2022 in a few years’ time and look back at this post and say we know back then it will be a magical wine!