Middelvlei Wine Estate, South Africa Shaped like a horseshoe on the outskirts of the historic town of Stllenbosch, Middelvlei Wine Estate spreads its vineyards along the northern slopes of the Papegaaiberg. Since 1919, the Estate has been the home of the Momberg family. While second-generation owner Stiljan Momberg maintains his inspirational presence, today, the commitment of his sons; Tinnie in the cellar and Ben in the vineyards, ensures the persistent quality of each vintage.
Built in 1941, the Middelvlei cellar was extended in 1999 with the addition of a maturation facility for 900 small barrels. Tinnie, the winemaker, shares his father’s firm belief in traditional winemaking methods. The wine is firstly fermented in open cement tanks, after which the malolactic fermentation process takes place in closed cement tanks.
Having won the sought after General Jan Smuts Trophy for the best young wine in 1997, Tinnie has proved himself a worthy successor to his father. Middelvlei wines have received numerous national and international accolades over the years, the more recent including: Michelangelo gold’s, gold and silver awards at the International Wine & Spirits competitions and a four and a half star rating in the John Platter Wine Guide (the top is five stars).
The Estate covers160 hectares of which 130 are planted with Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tinta Barocca, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The Pinotage vines are grown as bush vines, severely pruned in winter, while the rest of the varieties are trellised to keep the grapes cool.
Under Ben’s watchful eyes, the mature vineyards are kept in prime condition, while new plantings are carefully selected to suit the terroir. The body and backbone contributed by the mature vines are complemented by fresh fruitiness derived from more recent plantings.
The dominant soil types at Middelvlei are Hutton and Clovelly – particularly moisture-retentive in nature obviating the needs for irrigation. Middelvlei was one of the first farms in the country to boast tell tale rose bushes heading the rows of vines. These rose bushes give early warnings of possible diseases among the vines.
The premium Middelvlei brand consists of a Pinotage Merlot blend, Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (unwooded). The super premium product, Momberg – a blend of Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, all matured in new French oak, was released in October 2007. Besides, Middelvlei has also launched Red Falcon with a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon specially for Asian market.
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