About this WINE
Waterford Estate was established in 1998 with the intention of producing the very best wines in the country. The 120-hectare wine farm, nestled between the Simonsberg and Heldeberg mountain ranges, is a joint venture between Jeremy Ord and Kevin Arnold. Johannesburg-based Jeremy Ord made a fortune in information technology while Kevin Arnold established a reputation as one of South Africa's leading winemakers during his tenure at Rust en Vrede.
Kevin is now joined by the young and dynamic Mark le Roux (pictured). Mark started at Waterford working as an intern in the vineyards. Now as head winemaker, his involvement with the grapes and understanding of the specific plots on the farm is evident in the fresh, clean wines he is producing. The ripe and wonderfully balanced Chardonnay is much sought-after in South Africa and the Cabernet Sauvignon balances structure and ripeness.
Stellenbosch is South Africa’s best-known wine region, producing a wide variety of wines from leading estates, even though it accounts for less than 20 per cent of the country’s total production. Designated wards within the wine region are Jonkershoek Valley, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Bottelary, Devon Valley and Papegaaiberg.
At 17,500 hectares, Stellenbosch remains the Cape's most famous and important fine wine district, thanks to its proximity to Cape Town, to the cooling influences of False Bay, its mountainous (ie Helderberg, Simonsberg), granitic topography and its centres of learning such as Elsenburg Agricultural College.
A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.
It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.
South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.
Neal Martin - 28/04/2017