News

Wishing You Every Happiness This Festive Season

13 December 2016

Happy Holidays!

Our family has been on Thelema for thirty-three years and this year has been far and away the toughest, for various reasons. Fortunately we are a resilient bunch here. Not only our terrific staff, who have handled the crises selflessly and bravely, but the vegetation on this property has also shown amazing fighting spirit. What are you talking about, I’m imagining you’re thinking?

Well, on the 19th of January this year at about 11:30 in the morning I was driving back from a vineyard inspection on Sutherland and, as I approached Stellenbosch near the golf course, I saw a column of smoke on the Franschhoek side of Simonsberg. My immediate reaction was ‘HKGK’, which, roughly translated, means that we should expect a spot of bother. Sure enough, at about 7:30 in the evening a massive fire hit our top vineyards and kept all of us, as well as very kind volunteer neighbours, battling to salvage what we could. Fortunately nobody got hurt and no buildings were affected, but the vineyards on the foothills of the mountain were badly hit, and some of my favourite old trees, especially one magnificent Maytenus oliodes, were severely damaged, presumed dead. Initial estimates of the damage to vineyards indicated that we should remove about 5 hectares of vineyard on top of the fruit loss of about 100 tons.

We lost the fruit, but our vines and the trees are fighting back. My favourite tree miraculously started shooting a few months after the fire and looks like it will make a full recovery, and many vines, at one stage looking like gonners, are growing again. The vintage wasn’t a total disaster fortunately, as about 70% of the vineyards were not affected by the fire and Sutherland produced another brilliant crop, but it reminds me, again, that we have a very special, sometimes fragile, but always exciting property in Stellenbosch that doesn’t induce boredom. So what am I going to do next year when I retire?

Well I’ll probably be drinking some of the wines we have on offer at the moment. My favourites currently are the whites from Sutherland, especially the Viognier / Roussanne which is a fabulous food wine, high in flavour and texture but low in acidity, and the Chardonnay is a secret gem. Ironically it scores better overseas than locally, twice being voted top South African Chardonnay in two UK competitions and it is an absolute bargain in my opinion! Another hidden gem is the Semillon Late Harvest, if you’re after a sticky – it has that brilliant crème brulee sort of flavour you get in Sauternes but also a lightness and freshness that I love. And then of course there are days when a red is required for dinner and I appropriate left-overs from the tasting room – so far there haven’t been any duds there, so I’d recommend them all!

Lastly I would like to wish all of you a joyous and peaceful holiday season. We would love to see you at Thelema or hear your feedback, so please keep in touch.

Until next time
Gyles


TASTING ROOM OPENING TIMES DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON

If you’re planning on visiting Thelema during the Festive Season, please take note of our opening hours:

  • Friday, 16th December – OPEN (10h00 – 15h00)
  • Sunday, 18th December – CLOSED
  • Saturday, 24th December – OPEN (10h00 – 15h00)
  • Sunday, 25th December – CLOSED
  • Monday, 26th December – CLOSED
  • Tuesday, 27th December – OPEN (10h00 – 15h00)
  • Saturday, 31st December – OPEN (10h00 – 15h00)
  • Sunday, 1st January – CLOSED

WINE EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN THE NEW YEAR

Our calendar is already filling up for 2017. The following events are not to be missed out on:

Instagram

  • Our Cabernet is certainly King. #thelemawines #stellenbosch #cabernetsauvignon #visitwinelands #tastethelemaOur Cabernet is certainly King. #thelemawines #stellenbosch #cabernetsauvignon #visitwinelands #tastethelema
  • Forget liquor stores, turn your wine shopping into an interactive experience! Bring your friends and taste through our range of wines. #winelands #stellenbosch #tastethelema #thelemawines #visitwinelands #Saturday #fun #winetastingForget liquor stores, turn your wine shopping into an interactive experience! Bring your friends and taste through our range of wines. #winelands #stellenbosch #tastethelema #thelemawines #visitwinelands #Saturday #fun #winetasting
  • We spent the entire day in (and op top of) our red wine barrels racking our reds. All of our wines are matured in French oak barrels. #tastethelema #thelemawines #visitwinelands #winemaking #redwine #barrels #stellenboschWe spent the entire day in (and op top of) our red wine barrels racking our reds. All of our wines are matured in French oak barrels. #tastethelema #thelemawines #visitwinelands #winemaking #redwine #barrels #stellenbosch
  • Wishing all moms, ladies and aunties a wonderful Women’s Day. We are OPEN from 10 till 3. Receive a complimentary glass of MCC when visiting. #thelemawines #tastethelema #womensday #celebrateWishing all moms, ladies and aunties a wonderful Women’s Day. We are OPEN from 10 till 3. Receive a complimentary glass of MCC when visiting. #thelemawines #tastethelema #womensday #celebrate
  • What days like these are made for. #thelemawines #tastethelema #visitwinelands #stellenbosch #winterdays #redwine #fireplaceWhat days like these are made for. #thelemawines #tastethelema #visitwinelands #stellenbosch #winterdays #redwine #fireplace
  • Friday lunch idea. Bistros Go Classic. @societibistro is pairing our Sauvignon with their pan fried hake and shami prawns. Yum! #thelemawines #tastethelema #lunch #friday #yum #capetown #societibistroFriday lunch idea. Bistros Go Classic. @societibistro is pairing our Sauvignon with their pan fried hake and shami prawns. Yum! #thelemawines #tastethelema #lunch #friday #yum #capetown #societibistro
  • Join us at @stellwineroute Fine Food and Wine Festival. We will be pouring older Cabernet and our flagship Rabelais. DATE - 3 August TICKETS - @webtickets    #visitwinelands #festival #thelemawines #stellenbosch #weekendJoin us at @stellwineroute Fine Food and Wine Festival. We will be pouring older Cabernet and our flagship Rabelais. DATE – 3 August TICKETS – @webtickets #visitwinelands #festival #thelemawines #stellenbosch #weekend
  • For those fortunate enough to have a ticket for tonight’s @cfinewinec Red Wine Review come taste our @wineonaplatter 5 star Merlot Reserve 2015. ️ ️ ️️️For those fortunate enough to have a ticket for tonight’s @cfinewinec Red Wine Review come taste our @wineonaplatter 5 star Merlot Reserve 2015. ️ ️ ️️️

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