Named after its positioning far from civilisation, Vergelegen means “situated far away” and is tucked in the heart of the Somerset Wine Farms. It is known for its sweeping views of the mountains rising up around it, its famous Nguni cows grazing in the pasture and its long, rich history. The estate has taken a concerted step in ensuring that the history of the farm is preserved, from the camphor trees to the buildings and development of the farm.
The estates beauty speaks of its history which is blended in with the exquisite nature surrounding the farm and you can’t help but take a deep breath of fresh air as you meander up to the farm house.
The estates birth dates back to the Van der Stel era of 1685 when Simon van der Stel’s son, Willem Adriaan succeeded him and went about claiming a 30,000 hectare piece of land for himself. On this, he built a farm house, planted vines, laid out orchards, bred cattle and sheep and created the farm. It took an enormous 3 days to reach the farm by ox wagon and the name was set in stone.
Upon van Der Stel’s forced return to the Netherlands, the farm went through numerous change of hands until 1917 when eventually it fell into the capable hands of the Phillips family who spent vast amounts of money restoring the estate to its former glory. They built dams, roads and bridges and endeavored to transform the estate into a cultural and floral paradise. The Phillips era came to an end in 1941 when both husband and wife passed and the estate was bought over by the Barlow family who put as much effort into the maintenance and love for the farm as their predecessors did. They planted a small vineyard, more fruit orchards and started breeding Jersey cattle, which became the largest and best in South Africa.
The farm was bought over by Anglo American in 1987 and the estate has since gone through a thorough restoration. The company had plans to re-create the farm by incorporating its rich history as well as by redeveloping the farms winemaking core. Alien vegetation was cleared, the land rehabilitated and after extensive testing and treating, the vines were re-established. In 1992 an impressive, multi-leveled, sunken hilltop winery was built and opened by Baron Eric de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite (Bordeaux) in France and the estate became known for what it is today; one of the most well known and well loved farms in South Africa.
Winemaking and Terroir
The cellar is perched high on a hill and its octagonal dimensions allow for a breathtaking view of False Bay, the mountains and Table Mountain in the distance. The wines are made using an old craft of using a gravity flow cellar and the estates prides itself in the simple wine making process.
The estate lies a few kilometers from the Atlantic ocean and has a mild climate. Vineyard sites range in altitude between 140m and 310m above sea level, with slopes facing north to north-west, and south to south-east. The soils lay dormant until 1987 when Anglo American bought it over, before which, Van Der Stel had planted a variety of vines.
The estate produces three ranges, the Flagship, the Reserve and the Premium.
The Flagship consists of:
- Vergelegen V
- Vergelegen G.V.B. Red
- Vergelegen G.V.B. White
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Semillon Straw Wine
- MMV Brut
- Sauvignon Blanc
The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon featured in this weeks mailer is a complex Cabernet featuring blackcurrant, spice, wood and ripe plums on the nose. It pulls through into the palate which is full and soft with ripe tannins.
It is best served with lamb or steak and we have the perfect lamb shank recipe here for you to pair with an open bottle!