The more things change, the more they stay the same at Overgaauw Estate
18 Jun 2013
Overgaauw Estate, the historic and pioneering fourth-generation Stellenbosch wine estate, which embraces innovation while honouring its rich legacy, releases top-quality new vintages across the Overgaauw wine range, all sporting brand new labels.
More than a century old, this historic fourth-generation-owned Stellenbosch wine estate is one of the ‘first families of Cape wine’, and boasts a laudable reputation as ‘leader of the pack’ (John Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2001). Overgaauw’s many ‘firsts’ in the industry established the historically rich estate as eminently pioneering. The illustrious estate has the following litany of claims to fame: the first South African estate to bottle a varietal Merlot (in 1982); joint-first to produce Cape Bordeaux-style Blends; among the first Chardonnay producers; the only producer, since 1971, of the full-bodied, aromatic and spicy Sylvaner; the inaugural estate to break the R1000/case plateau at the 1994 CIWG Auction; among the first to mature Cabernet Sauvignon in French barriques in 1970; the maiden estate to plant Portuguese Port cultivars and the first estate to drop the contentious name ‘Port’ from their labels in 1996.
Fourth-generation winemaker and University of Stellenbosch graduate, David Van Velden’s youthful energy and passion and an enviable legacy of a century of winemaking and excellent Stellenbosch Kloof terroir served him exceedingly well when he took over the reins at Overgaauw in 2007. “Experience and some school fees helped me identify a clear view of what I would like to achieve. First and foremost is a continuous focus on expressing a sense of place in all our wines and increase the purity and cleanliness of fruit in our wines across the range.” And this is certainly evident in the new Overgaauw wine releases.
His philosophy in winemaking starts with his meticulous vineyard management; applying practices to maintain the natural balance in the soil and assisting the vines to produce the best fruit the site and vintage has to offer. “As a custodian of the land, I am always exploring ways to communicate the terroir I inherited more accurately and more sustainably, with the determination to leave the soil in a better state than when I received it.”
In the cellar the focus is on retaining the varietal's unique 'Overgaauw' character, with minimal cellar manipulation and the judicious use of wood. Overgaauw’s ongoing focus on pristine cellar hygiene culminated in the cellar receiving HACCP accreditation in time for the 2011 harvest. “Three harvests later we can see the huge impact of this noteworthy accreditation on our cellar hygiene and ultimately on the purity and cleanliness in our wines,” enthuses David.
The overall modernisation and improvement in Overgaauw’s wines is stylishly reflected in the new labels that adorn all their recent new vintage releases. The task of label redesign was given to Fanakalo, the trio of talented young Stellenbosch-based designers who are making a name for themselves in the design world. The result is an elegant modern label: uncluttered and innovative but still embracing the heritage of this historic family farm.
VISIT OVERGAAUW ESTATE
This proud family tradition of producing wines of excellence and one of the most beautiful settings in the Cape make Overgaauw Wine Estate well worth the visit.
Overgaauw Wine Estate
Tel: 021 881 3815
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