Established by the French Huguenots in 1693 on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains between Paarl and Franschhoek, Plaisir de Merle is a rare gem.
A Distell showpiece, this 974 hectare estate in Simondium, Paarl, has earned international acclaim for its white and red wines. About 400 hectares are planted with a variety of noble grape cultivars such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Malbec. An area of only about 80 hectares of prime vineyards has been set aside for the Plaisir de Merle cellar. Winemaker Niel Bester who in 2012 celebrates 20 years as cellarmaster at Plaisir de Merle, has gained fame in producing classically styled yet accessible wines, and attributes the success of his wines to being able to work with great fruit coming from a very unique terrain and the invaluable input from his viticulture team.
The diversity of the soils, slopes and elevations all add to the quality of Plaisir de Merle’s grapes. Well-drained weathered granite soils (predominantly Tukulu and Hutton) with good water retention allow minimal interference in irrigation with most vineyards being dry land. The grapes were selected and handpicked from two vineyards. Starting on February 13 and ending on February 20. They are situated between 140m and 370m above sea level on the south-eastern slopes of the Simonsberg.
Viticulturist: Freddie le Roux