I have always loved stories, and maybe that’s why wine, in its own special way, speaks to me so loudly. Each vintage has its own story to tell, a small history of the year that gave it birth. It records everything from what was abundant and lacking in the soil, how many hands were around to care for the grapes, what the weather was like and, of course, the investment and creativity of the winemakers themselves. And that is especially true of Neethlingshof’s The Owl Post Pinotage
By Roxy Greeff
In order to celebrate both the history and the conservation successes of the historic Neethlingshof estate, the winemakers released a portfolio of reserve wines, a Short Story Collection that was born with their Owl Post Pinotage. Neethlingshof decided to instil an even greater sense of biodiversity to their wines by erecting a group of owl posts to attract the nocturnal birds to their vineyards. The bottle draws attention to the rich and varied narratives of the estate’s pest management programme using strategically placed owl boxes.
Inspired by this example of the estate’s holistic and sustainable approach to viticulture, they created their Owl Post Pinotage, a personal favourite for De Wet Viljoen, the vice-chairman of the Pinotage Association and Neethlingshof winemaker. Fermented and matured in a blend of Hungarian and French oak barrels, this wine boasts well-integrated tannins with tasting notes of ripe fruit and vanilla.
And now, it has just been named the winner of the Abraham Perold Trophy for Pinotage 2016 at this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).