In 1699 Phillip De Royan was the first owner of a piece of untamed land,
today known as Lelienfontein, the home of Bosman Family Vineyards.
NEW BEGINNINGS The name of Bosman Family Vineyards’ home, Lelienfontein, is derived from the flower that first starts blooming early in September, and it signals the turning of the season. Arum lilies (“lelies” in Afrikaans) are common in wet, low-lying areas, and they’re also found around the water fountain (“fontein”) of the cellar and homestead. The name literally means Fountain of the Lilies. Lelienfontein.
This spring is also a new beginning in many ways at Bosman Family Vineyards.
AND SEASONAL SELECTIONS
Two new wines that are perfect for spring, and seasonal selections to kick-start the new season.
In a first for South Africa, we produce wine from this proud Italian varietal. It's our family's labour of love.
We received the top
prize for Fairtrade wines
at this year's International
Bosman Family Vineyards Weisser Riesling 2015 R75 / bottle (LIMITED TO 6 BOTTLES / PERSON) Order Now
Limited release, exclusively for Wine Club members
Since the very beginning of the Bosman Family Vineyards Wine Club, Carla has asked if we could attempt bottling a Riesling. It’s one of her favourite wines and such a noble variety to boot. Our first attempt was in 2014. As we did not have a lot of grapes to work with, we did a trial. The first thing Riesling taught us is that it isn’t a variety that you take on without some serious intent.
The German Riesling grape, considered one of the noble varieties (together with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay) can produce wines of high acidity and elegance. It is known for peach, honeysuckle and floral aromatic notes and has a distinct “kerosene” nose as it ages. Valuable lessons were learnt. We took on the challenge in 2015 again, this time with a better understanding of ripeness levels, sugar and acidity balance. A variety which has a serious sense of place – we are happy to report that the grapes showed fantastic promise in 2015 from the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde valley. The grapes were handpicked early morning to ensure fantastic flavours, then transported to our cellar for pressing. After crushing and de-stemming, the fruit underwent six hours of skin contact at 12°C. After pressing, the juice was fermented using a yeast which would accentuate the flavours we wanted to see in the end product. We stopped fermentation by cooling down the wine and filtering. The result is a wine with a moderate alcohol level and some natural sweetness to balance the lovely fresh, natural acidity.
Bosman Family Vineyards Pinot Gris 2015 R75 / bottle Order Now
Exclusively for Wine Club members
Another first, is this repeated release of a big favourite among our club members. Due to popular demand, the Pinot Gris will be released again this year after the very successful 2014 release. Pinot Gris (also called Pinot Grigio – Grigio is Italian, Gris is French) is the white, well-travelled offspring of the black Pinot Noir grape. The meaning of the French word gris is pine-cone grey, and these greyish-blue bunches of grapes are appropriately shaped like pine cones.
The crucial step with Pinot Gris is to adopt a light touch once the grapes reach the cellar, otherwise the wine is pink, and not white. In 2012, whilst tasting through the Adama White Blend’s components ready for blending, a batch of Pinot Gris from Walker Bay Hermanus was asking to be bottled separately. We bottled it for the Wine Club and it was an instant hit. We’ve heard from many Wine Club members that they loved the maiden vintage, so we have decided to bring back this popular choice. The tank was settled, wine drawn off the lees and bottled as such. Only minimum filtering intervention on the bottling line was used to ensure a pleasurable drinking experience.
De Bos Sauvignon Blanc 2014 - 6 bottles @ R 80 each
De Bos Chenin Blanc 2014 - 6 bottles @ R 70 each
De Bos 47 Varietal Rosé 2014 - 6 bottles @ R 70 each
(Italian pronunciation: [ˈnero ˈdavola]; "Black of Avola" in Italian)
Nero d'Avola is the native red-wine grape in Sicily. It is high in natural acidity and is one of Italy's most important indigenous varieties. It is named after Avola in the far south of Sicily. Wines made with this grape are often compared to new-world Shiraz, with sweet tannins and plum or peppery flavours.
One of my most adventurous memories is riding on the back of a scooter with a group of Sicilian teenagers. As we swerved through the traffic, our knees would scrape along the sides of the cars. Frustrated drivers of bigger, expensive cars would jump out and swear at us, but the agility of the scooters quickly put a safe distance between us.
I still have my dear Sicilian friend’s number on my phone, and he’ll be the first person to contact if I one day need to get around in Palermo again.
It was my first working year on the farm and I got the opportunity to listen to a talk on pH by Prof Hunter. pH, to a large extent, indicates the longevity of a wine and it is not something you can just correct in the cellar: it is determined in the vineyard. After the session, we started talking about varieties from southern parts of Italy that might suit our South African climate better and providing a natural acidity and pH balance from the vineyard.
So the hunt for Nero d’Avola got underway, of course with added motivation to visit Carla, who at that time lived in London. At first it seemed like mission impossible, only to learn later that getting the plant material to South Africa was not the difficult part.
I met a professor of viticulture from the University of Palermo who taught me that Sicily is not merely about quick espressos, secretive mafia mobs or the latest Dolce & Gabbana perfume. The warmer Mediterranean climate is similar to the wine-growing regions of the Cape. Sicily is a viticultural hub with many viticultural students studying and experimenting with various techniques of growing vines.
I had an import permit from the South African Quarantine Department to send the Nero d’Avola to Stellenbosch Quarantine, where the vines would be evaluated for 2 years. Only two vines survived from which we could start propagating the new cultivar in South Africa. Once we had enough buds, we field-grafted them on older Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Subsequently, the Nero d`Avola vineyard was planted on one of our Wellington estates. My wife, Carla, our sons and myself harvest this vineyard by hand every year as part of a new family tradition.
The wine was made in our Lelienfontein cellar under the watchful eye of one of the professor’s students, Valerio Alagna. Valerio was keen for this grape from his home country to do well under the African sun. But we came to a point where this adventure became challenging. We got stuck in the “red tape of wine making”.
The bottled wine was approved by the Wine and Spirits Board in February 2014. Nero d’Avola is now approved as a wine grape of South Africa, but this fact still has to be published in the Government Gazette.
We hope you will join us in raising a glass to a new addition to the South African wine family, a country where variety really is in our nature. Finally, we have navigated the red tape and we can now label this wine as Nero d’Avola. It’s a first for Bosman Family Vineyards and the South African wine industry.
Bosman Family Vineyards Nero d'Avola 2014 R150 / bottle Release date: November 2015 Exclusively for wine club members Pre-order Now
Bosman Family Vineyards was named overall winner of the Fairtrade Award at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London during July 2015. The achievement has widely been hailed as a significant milestone for the South African wine industry.
The Fairtrade Award is presented to the highest quality wine at the IWC with Fairtrade certification. As a team, we understand we exist in a continuum; our present is connected to our past and to those who will come after us. Our aim is to continuously improve on social and environmental sustainability. This inherently brings better quality and leads to growth and prosperity for everyone on the farm. The IWC award is wonderful recognition that we’re moving in the right direction.
The vineyards for the De Bos Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014 are located in the famed Hemel-en-Aarde valley. They are surrounded by swathes of indigenous fynbos and are cooled by breezes from the nearby Atlantic Ocean.
“De Bos” is the name of the Walker Bay Vineyards owned by the Bosman family and the Adama Appollo Workers Trust. The vineyard is situated 300m above sea level and overlooks Walker Bay.
The making of the De Bos Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014 was overseen by Corlea Fourie. It displays a vibrant green heart and lime-green rim. On the nose there’s kiwi, gooseberries, fresh passion fruit, flint and vegetal notes. The palate is fruit-filled with a lingering finish. The recommendation is that the wine is just as good by itself as when paired with salad, chicken or fish dishes.
"These guys are winning quality awards for great brands... They're delivering community service, but actually picking up great quality awards as well. I'm very proud to represent them, because they do fantastic work." - Michelle Smith, Sainsbury's
TO NEW BEGINNINGS This spring will have new meaning for us as a family. Carla and I are truly grateful about the start of a new season in our lives with the addition of our third son, Dawid, who was born on 24 July 2015.
Get in touch, or just pop in at the farm if you happen to be in the area. We’ll get the glasses ready.
Managing Director of Bosman Adama (Pty) Ltd