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

Tim James: On American investment in the South African wine industry

The release of the excellent new Capensis Chardonnay, and concomitant talk about the purchase of a Stellenbosch wine farm by the US company Jackson Family Wines, prompted thoughts of the extent of the American investment in Cape wine since 1994. The influx of star-spangled dollars – and star-spangled wine-people – has been greater than is [...]

January 26, 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 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

Hartenberg The Mackenzie 2007 vs. Vilafonté Series C 2007

On Sunday, lunch spent drinking Platter’s 2011 5-Star laureate The Mackenzie 2007 at the Hartenberg Fête de la Fleur; yesterday a chance to examine 5-Star nominee Vilafonté Series C 2007 . Both Bordeaux-style reds, both aimed at the top of the market, the 2006 Mackenzie selling for R325 a bottle from the tasting room and [...]

November 23, 2010
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Vondeling Babiana 2006

In Rossouw’s Restaurants 2010, Jean-Pierre Rossouw sums Pinelands establishment Joe Fish up perfectly as an “unexpected gem off an ugly shopping centre parking lot”. Ideal for a quick lunch of fish and chips and so that’s where Bernard le Roux, previously understudy to Zelma Long at Vilafonté and now winemaker at Noble Hill in Paarl, [...]

July 6, 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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