Diemersfontein wines from South Africa

Diemersfontein Pinotage 2009

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for the wines from South Africa. While I can safely say that I don’t have a favourite wine (or at least it changes daily!), I am currently, quite partial to South Africa as a wine region.  The wines have increased in quality dramatically in recent years and thanks to the diversity of the various regions, the array of styles is both exponential and exceptional.

So when I received an invitation to a tasting celebrating the 10th anniversary of the wines from Diemersfontein in Wellington, I was excited to try the wines.  The location (a hotel on Piccadilly), the company (other bloggers and journalists) and the enormous cheese selection, were all impressive. The wines also didn’t disappoint.

We tasted through wines from the three ranges, Thokozani (meaning ‘Celebration’), Diemersfontein (pronounced Deem-erz-fon-tain) and the top range, Carpe Diem. All wines are produced in Wellington and are sourced from several vineyards in the area. David Sonnenberg, the 3rd generation owner of Diemersfontein, explained that the estate underwent significant renewal in 2000 when new vines were planted and the cellar constructed. Since then, the accolades have been streaming in, including the honour of Best South African Red Wine for the Carpe Diem Pinotage 2003, awarded by the International Wine Challenge (IWC).

If you are at all familiar with the wines of Diemersfontein, it is probably because of their ‘coffee and chocolate’ Pinotage.  It is a rich, powerful and sometimes polarizing wine.  Many laud it as the quintessential Pinotage profile, while others eschew the presence of copious amounts of oak. But whether you love it or hate (I’m quite keen), one thing everyone can agree on is the overarching attitude of support Sonnenberg offers to his employees and the community as a whole.

After the tasting, we were all invited to a very special concert “Excellence Out of Africa”. Pretty Yande, an award winning South African soprano, performed to raise funds for South Africa Arts and the Wellington Preparatory School Scholarship Fund. Both charities are very important to Sonnenberg who also established the Diemersfontein and Thokozani Arts & Educational Trust.

Additionally, in 2007 Diemersfontein assisted in establishing Thokozani as a black empowerment project to aid the access of education, training and experience to those previously without.  Thokozani is partially owned by the employees (30%).

Wines of all three ranges, Thokozani, Diemersfontein and Carpe Diem are available for purchase in the UK.   Click here for the direct route through the Diemersfontein web site or else you will find the wines at these retailers in London: Savanna, Vintage House (Soho) and Wine Sense (NW3).

The wines we tasted were:

Thokozani CVC 2009 (Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay)

Carpe Diem Chenin Blanc 2008

Carpe Diem Viognier 2009

Thokozani SMV 2008 (Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier)

Diemersfontein Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Diemersfontein Pinotage 2009

Diemersfontein Summer’s Lease 2008 (Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier)

Diemersfontein Heaven’s Eye 2008 (Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Roobernet, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot)

Carpe Diem Shiraz 2006

Carpe Diem Malbec 2007

Carpe Diem Pinotage 2007

There’s always time for wine!

Tara – Wine Passionista

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Leave A Reply (3 comments so far)

  1. I’m still sory I missed this as the Diemersfontein Pinotage is my absolute favourite. Damn my hectic social calendar!! 😉

  2. Kim Blance
    8 years ago

    Savanna only list the Pinotage and it is out-of-stock. We contacted Diemersfontein and they gave us the name of a new stockist in the UK. Mostly Wine in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. We contacted them and they list the full Diemersfontein & Thokozani range. The do Mail Order. If you contact them on 01592 644184 or email shop@mostlywine.co.uk they will send you a price list of these wines.

    • Tara
      8 years ago

      Hi Kim, thanks for the update! Great information! Tara

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