A Day with a Winemaker
Experience a day
in the life of one of South Africa’s award winning, privately owned
wine estates in the heart of the majestic Cape winelands; savour a meal
personally prepared and served by a Cape Grace chef in the historic
Victorian homestead and visit a community development project in the
the outskirts of Stellenbosch, one of South Africa's most picturesque
towns and hub of the South African wine industry, a
driveway leads up to Middelvlei Wine Estate with its two historic
Victorian homesteads. Home
of the renowned Momberg family since 1919, Middelvlei has become one of
South Africa's leading wine estates with its rich soil, ideal climate,
methodical farming and progressive winemaking techniques.
family-run estate covers 160 ha of which 130 are planted with vines,
meticulously tended to by owner Stiljan Momberg’s middle son and
viticulturalist, Ben Momberg. Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and
Tinta Barocca comprise Middelvlei's red cultivars, while the white
cultivars include Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Eldest son and
winemaker, Tinnie Momberg, shares his father's firm belief in
traditional winemaking methods. The wine is fermented in open tanks,
after which the malolactic fermentation process takes place in closed
tanks. Youngest son, Jan Momberg, and daughter-in-law Jeanneret, manage
the logistics of distribution from the farm to the domestic and
international markets, including Europe and the USA.
also supports the local community, with the
Momberg family involved in
creating sustainable development projects for the families of farm
workers. The neighbouring village has its own library, an after-school
care centre and a woman’s skills development society, which enables
women to make and sell arts and crafts. Middelvlei’s assistant wine
maker, Thysie, who comes from a historically disadvantaged background,
recently had the opportunity of travelling abroad for the first time
when he was put forward by Tinnie as part of a programme to support
workers in wine farm communities.
Middelvlei boasts an extended family – not only is it renowned for its vines and award-winning wines, but also for its animals! Welcoming visitors to Middelvlei, are Tinta the Great Dane, as well as Pongracz and Cab, the two Dachshunds. A breeding programme for Grysbok, an African antelope species, has also been started on the farm, which has seen the birth of four Grysbok. Also contributing to the charm of Middelvlei are two miniature horses, a couple of Cameroon pygmy goats and several mountain tortoises, most of which have been on the farm for more than 30 years.The experience
from your residence, the day starts at approximately 9am with a scenic drive
to the Cape winelands. Wine farmer and vine master, Ben,
in-depth tour of the vineyards, pointing out the various soil types,
varieties of grapes and technical details of proper wine farming.
The vineyard visit culminates on the highest hill of the estate
to enjoy sweeping views over the False Bay coast with a glass of
experience continues from the vineyards to the farm’s private
underground wine cellar, which contains the largest privately owned wine
collection in South Africa. There,
meet with winemaker, Tinnie, to enjoy a tasting of the estate’s wines
surrounded by bottles, some dating back to the 1940’s.
The next stop is the wine-producing cellar to “blind taste”
from barrels. This provides
the privileged opportunity to compare various vintages, straight from
the barrel, under the expert guidance of an award-wining winemaker.
in the cellar, one of South Africa's top 10 celebrity chefs will prepare a
three-course lunch representing
his or her innovative
style and flair. Lunch will be enjoyed in the Victorian homestead's stately dining room
with the winemaker, wine farmer, guide and chef, where the winemaker
will pare one of his wines with each course. After a leisurely lunch,
the last stop for the day is a visit to the farm’s community village
to meet some of the local people and to view their development projects.
After an enriching day of good food and wine, the experience slowly comes to an end, leaving Stellenbosch and returning to Cape Grace in the late afternoon.
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