Philip and Lourens Jonker
Japie and Lourens Jonker
We live to inspire
Weltevrede is a Family owned and managed wine estate in the Robertson Wine Valley, close to the town of Bonnievale.
It began when Klaas Jonker purchased the farm in 1912 and planted the first vineyards in the area. He was followed by Japie Jonker, who in 1933 began wine farming on Weltevrede. Today, the tradition is carried on by current owner Philip Jonker.
Philip joined his father, Lourens Jonker, in 1997 as winemaker after qualifying at the University of Stellenbosch. He also gained valuable practical experience working at Clos du Val winery in the Napa Valley, California, as well as Chateau La Dominique in Saint Emilion, France.
Weltevrede has got a lot to offer our visitors. A tractor ride, wine tasting and accommodation is available as well as the restaurant and function venue.
One of the recent ventures is the launch of the Weltevrede Writers Studio on the Estate. This is for writers to come and be inspired with the beautiful surroundings and get insights from the 3000 + books available in the studio.
We invite you to join us on a journey through the
100 Years of family wine farming
29 May 2012 by Weltevrede Estate
When you think of a family wine estate, you cannot help feeling the
weightiness that comes from being timeless, steadfast and
legacy-infused. The sense of tradition and maturity makes celebrating
100 years a significant occasion. This year, Weltevrede will look back
and appreciate the legacy of four generations of wine farming.
It was in 1912 that Klaas Jonker first set foot on Weltevrede and being "well-satisfied" with what he experienced on the land, he began establishing the farm. The Jonker family has been blessed to have members of each new generation continue in the tradition of the former. Japie Jonker farmed in the 1930's and Lourens Jonker joined him in the 60's. His son and present wine maker, Philip Jonker came alongside him in the 90's. The previous generations created a farming foundation based on a richness of wisdom and experience, and the latter generations bought passion, interest and inspiration to the family estate.
The essential difference between a family owned business and any other commercial enterprise is clearly revealed in Philip Jonker's description of life on the estate.
"My father refers to himself as my free consultant and thanks to him keeping a fine balance between innovation and sound business decisions, Weltevrede is on a great track. He is good health and in the mornings he takes long walks with his dog across the farm. He then meets for coffee where we chat about trivialities, but also discuss and decide of more important matters."
Philip also believes that Weltevrede's development over the years is partially based on their experience of what really works on the terroir. He understands that in order to thrive in the wine industry, estates must be willing to adapt to the many global and local trends. Very early in the history of the farm, the focus was on brandy, sherry and sweet wines distributed in small barrels throughout the country by train. Later, the emphasis shifted to premier white wines. This was based on a key decision to produce premium estate wines rather than competing in a wholesale market.
In the 70's Weltevrede Privé was one of the first South African white wines that was fermented and aged in French oak barrels, as was the practise in Burgundy. In the mid 70's Lourens Jonker started with estate bottling and it was his inspiration in France and Germany that led to the production of noble cultivars such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling and Gewurztraminer. When Philip joined as winemaker, the focus shifted to Méthode Cap Classique, Chardonnay and Syrah.
100 years is a noteworthy milestone to consider the past but also an opportunity to look forward and set the vision for the future. Hence their decision this year to donate 50 cents from the income of every bottle of wine sold to the 'Edge of Life Fund', which sponsors local programs that are dedicated to the meeting social, spiritual, emotional and physical needs of children. Social upliftment will be the cornerstone for the next 100 years on this family estate.
Wish Weltevrede Happy Birthday on and stand a chance to win 100 bottles of wine. Facebook
This article has been read 1803 times.
The article above is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License You may copy, re-use or re-print any of this information as long as wine.co.za is quoted as source. Any statements made or opinions expressed are the legal responsibility of the AUTHOR, and do not necessarily reflect the views of WineNet (PTY) Ltd. or its sponsors. 20476