South African Country Life - - Local Flavours -

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

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