Fred Viljoen, a man with a twinkle in his eye, was born in Robertson in 1965, part of a large winemaking family of Viljoens – three sisters and two brothers – the fifth generation there. Wine played a large part in their lives and was always on the table, part of the daily meal. Fred pays tribute to his ex-wife Lindy, who he says “played a big role in developing Viljoensdrift as a well-known wine/tourist farm.” His son Ben (22) will follow him as the sixth-generation winemaker on the farm, daughter Lin-Mari (18) is at business school, and his youngest daughter, Lente (14), is at school in Paarl. Fred enjoys entertaining at home on the river but says disarmingly, “I can only braai – can’t even cook an egg properly.” He loves taking his kids to restaurants on Sundays and believes food plays a big part in the wine and food partnership. Fred’s other passion is flying and he is a partner in a Cessna 182 stationed at Robertson airfield. He travels overseas often, keeping up with winemaking trends. He studied nature conservation at Cape Tech, and one of his pleasures is driving through the vineyards every day.
Fresh and crisp as newly mown hay, lively and delicious
fruit with well-controlled acids, made for early drinking,
ice cold at the poolside. Nice rounded mouth, some wood apparent, just enough to support the fruit flavours of gooseberries and grapes and
a vanilla note or two.
“Wine can’t make itself. If you hesitate to bottle
a wine, don’t bottle it – it will bite you later
Viljoensdrift on the R317, Robertson 023 615 1901