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About Us

Safriel House is a family owned wine house that is founded upon a passion for, and working experience of South African vineyards and wine making.

We would love to share our story with you, so make sure you read about how we came into being, who we are and the story behind our labels.

 

Select Vineyards Cape Classic White 2015 Award Winner

Rose Pink Label
Our Select Vineyards Classic Cape White blend is made in extremely limited quantities. The wine is a complex and elegant marriage of four varietals, each from a single vineyard and made in small quantities, to showcase the Cape of Good Hope’s remarkable vineyards. It is vinified for Safriel House on Solms-Delta, a unique farm in the Franschhoek (French Corner) appellation using traditional Rhone practices harking back to its original French Huguenot owners in the early 1700’s. The farm today is a joint venture between the families who have owned the vineyards for generations and the worker's Trust, the beneficiaries of which are descendants’ slaves and the indigenous peoples who live on the farms and its environs.

The modern transformation of Solms-Delta, the farm where this wine is made, began when the owner of the farm (who coincidentally attended the same school as Yair Safriel) returned to South Africa in 2001 to rescue his family farm which had been in the family for six generations since the 1700's. On his return, he soon realized that the farm was home to seven families who had been residing and working on the farm for generations as well. So the owner and the workers stopped farming and started excavating around the stately Cape Dutch homestead, cellar and farm buildings. As the archaeological digs uncovered artifacts from different periods in the history of the farm, the people of the farm could piece together their own personal stories.

Solms
These historical and cultural treasures were placed in a social history museum. The excavations also illuminated the fact that the farm was built by slaves who are the direct ancestors of the tenants who live on the farm today. With the support of a British entrepreneurial philanthropist, a trust was established through which ownership of land and equity in the business could be shared. In 2007 the workers and residents of the farm acquired a 33.3% interest in the business subsequently rising to 50%.


 

The Winemaker

The farm's winemaker, Hagen Viljoen, grew up in a nearby town on a fruit farm. His first internships were at Fleur du Cap (a part of the Distel conglomerate) and, as contrast, the 350 year old Boschendal Estate. This was followed by experience at Mendocino in California, New Zealand, Australia and Saint-Émilion in France.
On his return back to South Africa in 2009, he worked at the world renowned Nederburg and at Vergelegen (the iconic Somerset West wine estate) before moving to the Franschhoek valley, where he and his wife, who is also a winemaker, live on one of the valley farms.


The Wine

The 2015 Vintage was an exceptional vintage in the Cape, with great concentration and natural acidity in the wines. Four grape varieties (Chenin Blanc 30%, Grenache Blanc 30%, Roussanne 25%, Verdelho 15%) hailing from three regions were blended together to create a medium bodied wine with aromatics ranging from white pear to peach which opens up to subtle lemony citrus flavors and long finish.
The Chenin Blanc was grown on a dryland, bush vine block in the Swartland appellation contributing beautiful yellow fruit aromatics and texture to the blend. The Grenache Blanc is from an ungrafted, bush vine vineyard in the Piekenierskloof Mountains, at an altitude of 2300ft above sea level with mainly weathered sandstone soils. The Grenache Blanc brings focus and elegance to the blend. Both the Verdelho and the Roussanne are from the Voor-Paardeberg ward (a sub-region of the Paarl appellation) and are planted in decomposed granite soil. The Voor-Paardeberg vineyards impart great fruit concentration and body to the wine, with Roussanne adding richness and savory notes and Verdelho bright acidity and intense pineapple and lime fruit. The wines were fermented in a combination of French oak barrels, Foudres and concrete egg shaped fermenters and subsequently aged for 12 months on the gross less in combination of oak and stain concrete vessels. Technical details: ALC - 14% Vol; PH - 3.37; RS – 1.9 g/l; TA - 5.5 g/l.The perfect beach

Awards:
95 points - Tim Aktin South Africa Special Report 2017
93 points - John Platter Wine Guide 2018

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Lynne

 

Lynne Safriel's thoughts: "This wine has structure and backbone but is not heavy. Perfect when you want a serious wine that won't weight you down."

 

 

 

 

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