08 February 2018

Visiting De Waal Winery

To Devon Valley for a flying visit to De Waal Winery to pick up a bottle of Top of the Hill Pinotage, since my original intention to get one when I went on the monthly Top of the Hill vineyard Fun Walk was scuppered after its cancellation due to winery owner-winemaker and walk-leader Pieter De Waal's's injured knee.
Pieter De Waal

By chance Pieter De Waal was staffing the tasting room and happily his leg is recovering well, so next month's walk is likely to go ahead.

Pieter said the vintage was about 10 days behind because of the heat and drought, but he thought it would be good quality. 

He said the Top of the Hill vineyard -- which is the oldest in South Africa and therefore the world -- was expected to produce as much as last year, which isn't that much owing to the age of the vines. 

But he thinks next years vintage will suffer as the vines haven't stored resources from this year.
De Waal Winery

Pieter had found out more about his ancestor, the original De Waal, Jan,  who'd arrived in the Cape from The Netherlands in 1715. His first house was in Bree Street and his farm Schotzekloof in the Bo-Kaap. 

Pieter visited the original house and the current owner showed him a university students thesis of the history of the times, and Jan. Pieter then went to Jan's second house in Dorp Street but was turned away by an armed Police Officer who was guarding it. The house is now the home of a government minister. 

De Waal's second, of three Pinotages,  is C T De Waal, named in honour of the first man to make Pinotage wine. C T was a lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch with Professor Perold and when, in 1941, the was enough Pinotage grapes to make a barrel, Perold asked CT to do so.

So when one enjoys De Waal's Pinotages one is tasting history and tradition.
De Waal barrel cellar


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