WINE­MAKER

Hannes Nel of Lourens­ford Es­tate

South African Country Life - - Future Watch -

Way back when it was a coun­try re­treat for the likes of Willem Adri­aan van der Stel, mag­nif­i­cently sit­u­ated Lourens­ford was part of the neigh­bour­ing Vergele­gen es­tate that was es­tab­lished by him in 1709. With all that his­tory, one would ex­pect the cob­webs to be vis­i­ble all over the place, but that couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. Mod­ern-day Lourens­ford is as mod­ern as can be, very much at the fore­front of wine­mak­ing in the Cape. Cel­lar mas­ter Hannes Nel has been here since 2002 and knows this ter­roir like the back of his hand. The es­tate is huge (4 000 hectares) and stretches from the Helder­berg to the Hot­ten­tots Hol­land Moun­tains. This vast area makes it pos­si­ble to have a mul­ti­tude of ter­roirs that will bring out the best in all va­ri­etals with vini­cul­tural el­e­ments of ev­ery French re­gion right here, a great ad­van­tage. The range of wines is quite ex­ten­sive, with user-friendly quaf­fers at great prices min­gling with se­ri­ous multi-award win­ners at prices that will not rip out your heart. They are all char­ac­terised by an abun­dance of fruit that has not been ma­nip­u­lated into a coma and which cer­tainly re­veals its ori­gin in the best way – by taste and aroma. Hannes has worked closely for the last 16 years with vine­yard man­ager Piet Uys and agrees, “The best thing in the vine­yard is the foot­prints of the wine­maker.” The po­etic side of a wine­maker’s na­ture is never far be­low the sur­face.

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