Winemag.co.za | SA Wine Ratings, News, Opinion & Analysis


On Merlot in SA

Yesterday a discussion on Merlot in SA facilitated by the South African Sommelier Association and led by renowned winemaker Zelma Long and wine-growing partner Dr Phil Freese, who are  co-owners along with Warwick’s Mike Ratcliffe of Vilafonté in Paarl. Long began by saying that South Africa has a “treasure house” of terroir and hence there [...]

February 3, 2015
by Christian Eedes
with 0 Comments

Vilafonté Series C 2003 – 2012

Phil Freese, leading US viticulturist and co-owner along with winemaker wife Zelma Long and Warwick’s Mike Ratcliffe of Paarl property Vilafonté, says his aim has always been to adapt the vineyards to the site instead of pushing them into something they don’t want to be. The first plantings on Vilafonté were done in 1997 and [...]

November 7, 2014
by Christian Eedes
with 5 Comments

Vilafonté to expand plantings

A fascinating morning spent in the Paarl vineyards of Vilafonté with Dr Phil Freese, preeminent viticulturist and co-owner of the venture. 120 days from flowering to picking and each flower (which in turn become a berry) a “timer”, Freese wanting these timers to go off at  the same time to ensure uniform ripeness.   Berries [...]

November 11, 2013
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Vilafonté Series M 2005

Should mature wine command a price premium? Mike Ratcliffe, managing partner of Vilafonté recently announced the re-release of the 2005 vintage of the Series M, a blend of 52% Merlot, 17% Malbec and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon which will sell for R1 250 a bottle (compared to R400 for the soon-to-be-releases 2011). A bottle sent for [...]

July 23, 2013
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Vilafonté Series C 2010

Man shapes the environment but does the environment shape man? Vilafonté is the joint venture between Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick in Stellenbosch and eminent US wine personalities Phil Freese and Zelma Long. First bottling was 2003 and I’ve struggled with the wines in the past on account of how premeditated they appear. Technically correct but [...]

December 21, 2012
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Vilafonté Series C 2009

Vilafonté is a joint venture between Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick in Stellenbosch and American husband and wife Phil Freese and Zelma Long, Phil an accomplished viticulturist and Zelma equally skilled as a winemaker. The property is in the Simonsberg-Paarl ward and there are two wines under the Vilafonté label, Series C and Series M. The [...]

July 12, 2012
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Warwick Chardonnay 1998

Yesterday a tasting of soon-to-be released wines from Stellenbosch winery Warwick.  The Chardonnay 2009 is looking particularly good, with a rich core of fruit but also some interesting secondary flavours. Grapes come predominantly from a vineyard planted in the mid-1980s and yeilds are low, typically between two and half and three tons a hectare. only [...]

August 24, 2010
by Christian
with 0 Comments
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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 and now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with South African wine.
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