08 October 2017

Delheim's Spatz Sperling Dies

Michael 'Spatz' Sperling
Sad news. Michael 'Spatz'Sperling, patriarch of Delheim Estate, died today 8 October of natural causes.

Spatz produced the first Rosé Pinotage in 1976, he played a major role in several wineland initaitive, including the Stellenbosch Wine Route in 1971, the country's first wine route and was instrumental in developingthe Wine of Origin system.

Spatz's story is told here

The news of Spatz's passing was announced by Delheim as follows:

The South African wine industry has lost a pioneering icon in the passing of the legendary Spatz Sperling, patriarch of Delheim Estate and co-founder of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, who died of natural causes at the age of 86 on 08 October. Delheim will close today at 15:00 as we celebrate his life and cherish all the good memories with loved ones. We will not be answering emails or phone calls for the rest of today. 

No ordinary octogenarian, Michael Hanz 'Spatz' Sperling, a German-born vintner who arrived in the country in April 1951 as a 20 year old World War II refugee, has built Delheim into one of the most enduringly popular and successful wine destinations in the Cape over the past half century. Over the years this family-run wine farm also became a microcosm of Spatz's visionary work in the greater Stellenbosch community and the Cape Winelands as a whole.

Spatz, who coped admirably with Parkinson's disease the last few years, was not only a craftsman of superior wines, but introduced numerous 'firsts' and left an indelible legacy in the Cape Winelands.

Today we toast his pioneering spirit as we pay homage to the great visionary, husband, father and grandpa he was. It is with very heavy hearts that we have to say goodbye, but we are thankful that he is no longer in pain and at peace.

Rest in peace, Spatz.

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