Neethlingshof: The whole picture

When we enter wine farms, the vineyards are often just part of the pretty scenery, with little connection to the bottle of wine that is poured in the tasting room or restaurant. But the vineyard is where the story starts. It is amazing to make a connection between one of your favourite wines and the vines that produced the grapes. The Maria Noble Late Harvest from Neethlingshof is my favourite sweet treat - on Wednesday, we were hauled up the hill on the Stellenbosch estate and the Maria block was pointed out. A great moment.

But from the hill, we could see the large estate that is Neethlingshof, a 240ha property with around 110ha under vines. Neethlingshof likes to look at the bigger picture, with great respect of the wildlife that calls the estate home. Their commitment is displayed on their labels - The Owl Post Pinotage, The Caracal Red, The Jackal's Dance. This is an estate that has stories to tell, and tell them they do. Their Six Flowers White Blend, winemaker De Wet admits, was created just to tell the story of the 6 flowers created in the Manor Gables to honour and represent Maria Neethling and her five children. 

Having heard that their flash-food pairings is a must, I was excited for lunch. I had worked up an appetite up on the hill and during the tasting and was ready to dig in. The chef had a trick up his sleeve, having created an all-vegan lunch menu for us. Some eyes were hungry for lamb shanks and the like but quickly forgot about it with colourful and flavourful plates winning over the meat-eaters. 

Worth the visit