Welgegund, meaning ‘well-bestowed’, is the perfect title for this heritage estate nestled at the foot of the magnificent Hawequa mountains at the end of an oak-lined cul-de-sac in Wellington. Visitors don’t have to venture far to experience the fruits of its blessings: a place of natural beauty, heritage buildings dating back to the early 1800’s, ancient dryland bush vines, and a unique fingerprint of terroir and climate.
The ancient, decomposed granite of the foothills yields vines that produce intensely flavoured fruit ideal for creating the very best wines. The breezes funneling down the valley from the Bains Kloof Pass moderate the extremes of the climate and the old dryland bush vines offer extremely low yields of fruit (average of 2,4 tons per hectare) with exceptional concentration. With quality the bedrock, the focus is on growing cultivars uniquely suited to the farm, namely Rhône-style varieties.
“At Welgegund Heritage Wines we only bottle our premium high-end wines in great years”, says winemaker, Friedrich Kühne. “‘Well-bestowed’ takes on a new meaning at Welgegund when we are blessed with excellent vintages when our climate and terroir come together perfectly to produce exceptional wines.”
2017 proved to be an outstanding vintage which saw the maiden releases of Welgegund’s single-vineyard Cinsault and Grenache Noir (in bold new contemporary packaging with classic wax seals), as well as their popular barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc, honoured with impressive ratings in both Tim Atkin’s South Africa Special Report as well as Platter’s 2020 Wine Guide.
2019 VINTAGE AT WELGEGUND
“2019 has been another exemplary vintage, one of the best in many years,” continues Friedrich. “As we farm dryland, soil moisture contributes a lot to quality. Between October and January preceding the 2019 vintage we only received 65mm of rain which resulted in extremely low yields of small berries bringing intense concentration to the wines, with a wealth of fruit, richness, texture and depth of flavour.”
Welgegund’s wine philosophy is to craft wines of authenticity and distinction, with intense detail in the vineyards, and minimal intervention in the cellar to allow vineyard and terroir expression, to create wines true to the cultivar. Gentle winemaking allows the expression of the natural elements bestowed upon Welgegund and careful extraction of aromas, colour and flavour.
Friedrich continues, “I believe our 2019 wines exceed our 2017 wines in quality, being more linear, showcasing the cultivars in their purest form, with a broad array of fruit aromas present. The small 2019 volumes allowed for a more traditional artisanal approach to winemaking which has resulted in increased quality. Our 2019 reds were whole-bunch fermented (some in open 500L barrels), making early wood integration possible, also adding elegance, textured smoothness and enhanced fruit aromas and flavours to the wine. We worked with the grape stalks to add extra dimensions to the wines like freshness, spice, and soft powdery tannins. Our smaller volumes allowed for grape stomping of some batches of our Cinsault, Shiraz and Grenache, a gentle process that keeps the berries intact – Rhône-style varieties require a very gentle approach. Our new lightly toasted bigger 500L barrels allowed Welgegund’s unique terroir and the quality of our fruit to shine through, and our new Dissolved Oxygen Meter helped us control oxygen levels during winemaking and bottling. We employ age-old winemaking techniques, combined with new technology, to offer you the best wines possible.”
“We are especially pleased with the 2019 bottlings of our three limited release wines, the Chenin presented in the estate’s distinctive new packaging for the first time, and we are delighted that we have already received three prestigious awards. Our Cinsault 2019 was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2020 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, our Grenache Noir 2019 received a Top Ten award at the 2020 Prescient Minority Report (Niche Red Varietals) convened by Winemag.co.za and our Chenin Blanc 2019 won a Gold Medal at the 2020 Veritas Awards.”
WELGEGUND’S NEW CONTEMPORARY WINE PACKAGING WITH A CLASSIC TOUCH
Welgegund have pulled out all the stops with their creative and distinctive new wine packaging, which is minimalist yet compelling with strong visual appeal: bold imported bottles, simple and elegant wrap-round labels, numbered bottles and regal vividly coloured wax seals to communicate the handmade details Welgegund include from start to finish in their wines.
WELGEGUND HERITAGE WINES CHENIN BLANC 2019
Winemaker’s Notes: The Chenin Blanc grapes come from a dryland vineyard planted in 1974 (46 years old) which is certified as a Heritage Vineyard. They were harvested by hand at 22,5° B in the early morning to obtain the best quality fruit possible. The grapes were pre-cooled for 18-24 hours to prevent oxidation when working with the must, then whole-bunch pressed, settled, and fermented in a combination of 500L barrels (natural ferment) and stainless-steel tanks. Fermentation was partly natural, with different yeasts added for the desired complexity. 33% of the wine was aged in 2nd fill 500L French oak barrels for 14 months.
Tasting Notes: Clear medium lemon in colour, the nose shows beautiful layers of candied citrus, lime and lemon, ripe pear, quince, fresh peach, and honeysuckle. The palate is soft and elegant with flavours of star fruit, honeydew melons and lime, and finishes with a salty minerality and a touch of nuttiness.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with roast duck confit and orange sauce. Also delicious with crayfish, langoustines, sushi and line fish carpaccio or gnocchi with green peas and almonds. The wine will also complement a citrus tart or nutty nougat.
Limited release: Only 1801 individually numbered bottles have been produced.
Awards: Gold Medal at the 2020 Veritas Awards.
Retail price: Welgegund Heritage Wines Chenin Blanc 2019, graced with a striking sunflower yellow wax seal, is only available from the estate and their website’s online shop for R287,50 per bottle (VAT inclusive).
To shop go to https://welgegund.co.za/wines/
WELGEGUND HERITAGE WINES CINSAULT 2019
Winemaker’s Notes: The Cinsault grapes come from a dryland bush vine single vineyard planted in 1974 (46 years old) which is certified as a Heritage Vineyard. All fruit was picked by hand, at 24° B, into small crates – an extremely labour-intensive exercise when harvesting old bush vines. Extended cold-soaking for 48-72 hours before fermentation ensured good colour and flavour early on. Fermentation was partly natural, with different yeasts added for the desired complexity. The grapes were mostly whole-bunch fermented, with a gentle stomping action, with a small portion in 500L open barrels with stalks, and the balance in stainless-steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation – softening the taste and texture, adding complexity and character, and stabilising the wine – was completed naturally. 33% was wooded in 2nd fill 500L oak barrels for 14 months. The wine was not fined and only lightly filtered before bottling.
Tasting Notes: Clear and bright in colour with a fresh purple hue, the nose shows an assortment of aromas such as blackcurrant, sour cherry coulis and black forest cake with a hint of pine needles, black truffle, and lavender. The palate is soft and elegant, displaying flavours of black cherry compote, red berries, cloves, lingering with mustardy pepperiness into a long finish. The tannins are soft with well-integrated fresh acidity.
Serving Suggestions: Serve a touch cooler than your usual red wines and enjoy with a beef fillet or game with cranberry sauce, seared tuna or a mushroom risotto and end the meal with a raspberry crème brûlée.
Limited release: Only 2230 individually numbered bottles have been produced.
Awards: Gold Medal at the 2020 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.
Retail price: Welgegund Heritage Wines Cinsault 2019, adorned with a vivid crimson wax seal, is only available from the estate and their website’s online shop for R373,75 per bottle (VAT inclusive).
To shop go to https://welgegund.co.za/wines/
WELGEGUND HERITAGE WINES GRENACHE NOIR 2019
Winemaker’s Notes: The grapes come from a high-altitude dryland bush vine vineyard planted in 2006. All fruit was picked by hand into small crates at 23° B. Extended cold-soaking for 48 -72 hours before fermentation ensured good colour and flavour early on. Fermentation was partly natural, with different yeasts added for the desired complexity. The grapes were 100% whole-bunch fermented with stalks in an open stainless-steel tank. Malolactic fermentation – softening the taste and texture, adding complexity and character, and stabilising the wine – was completed naturally. The wine finished fermentation on the skins and was pressed when dry. 50% of the wine was aged unoaked to retain fresh fruity aromas and the balance was aged in in 2nd fill 500L French barrels for 14 months. The wine was not fined and only lightly filtered before bottling.
Tasting Notes: Bright and exuberant in colour with light violet hues, the nose shows an abundance of fresh cranberries and raspberries with a touch of floral and fennel notes. The palate is soft and refined, revealing sour cherries, salty dark chocolate, and game biltong with subtle hints of tobacco leaves, fresh green pepper and cinnamon. Smooth well-integrated tannins lead to a beautifully round and lingering finish.
Serving Suggestions: Serve a touch cooler than your usual red wine and enjoy it with a charcuterie board, salmon, game carpaccio or a smoked mussel pot. As a dessert try a salty dark chocolate fondant with a red berry coulis.
Limited release: Only 2620 individually numbered bottles have been produced.
Awards: Top Ten award at the 2020 Prescient Minority Report (Niche Red Varietals) convened by Winemag.co.za.
Retail price: Welgegund Heritage Wines Grenache Noir 2019, crowned with a vivid crimson wax seal, is only available from the estate and their website’s online shop for R373,75 per bottle (VAT inclusive).
To shop go to https://welgegund.co.za/wines/
Welgegund Wine Farm, 119 Berg Street, Wellington, South Africa
Website: https://welgegund.co.za/ · Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/welgegundwines/