Judging is done under the
auspices of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group of South Africa (SBIG), an
independent wine producer body formed in 2007 to promote sauvignon blanc. A
delighted Ronelle Brink says this is yet another step up for their wine, their
previous vintage having made it into the final twenty at last year’s event.
Phesantekraal, the home of Phizante Kraal wines, is one of Durbanville’s oldest
farms, originally granted in 1698 by Cape Governor Simon van der Stel to ship’s
captain Olof Bergh (whose name lives on as one of the Cape’s
rare aged brandies produced by the solera
method). Records show that by 1756 some 40 000 vines had been planted
on Groot Phesantekraal.
since 1897 by the Brink family, the 930ha property has since been primarily
devoted to mixed farming (grains, cattle and sheep). But current custodian André
Brink re-established some 50 hectares of vines from 1996. These replaced mostly
old bush vines from which father Rennie harvested grapes to supply what is now
Distell as well as some leading Stellenbosch wineries for their top-quality
Brinks continue selling the majority of their grapes – primarily Sauvignon
Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz – to big-name cellars, retaining only
some 10 tons for vinifying under their Phizante Kraal label since the 2005
Sauvignon Blanc comes from a small block planted in 2007 on high ground on the
farm which lies amid undulating hills on the north-eastern edge of Durbanville.
The hillside aspect benefits a variety which blossoms in cooler conditions.
But, at the same time, the soil and farm’s inland location (compared with the
rest of maritime-influenced Durbanville) produce grapes for the typically
tropical, full-fruited style of Sauvignon Blanc of which the Phizante Kraal is
a prime example.
is made for the Brinks by Thys Louw, sixth-generation grape grower and vintner
on nearby Diemersdal. Says Ronelle Brink: ‘The families have been friends for
years. We asked Thys to make our first wines for us on the understanding that
he could withdraw at any time, but he insists, calling them his “babies”.’
Groot Phesantekraal is open for tasting Monday
to Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturday mornings by appointment. ‘Visitors are
always welcome!’ says Ronelle. ‘Cellar door sales are growing.’ Besides the
lauded Phizante Kraal Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (selling at R55 a bottle), also
available are small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and the new Anna
de Koning Chenin Blanc (named for Cpt Olof Bergh’s wife, the daughter of a Batavian
slave woman who worked in Cape Colony ‘founding father’ Jan van Riebeek’s