Diemersdal – Wine from Cape Town

by Anlé Britz

It came to me as quite a surprise that the Cape Town Wine District houses Constantia, Durbanville, Hout Bay and Philadelphia – but you learn something new every day. I bring this to your attention as knowledge is power and in our mission to show off some of the most amazing wineries in Cape Town – education is key. Durbanville’s hot days and cool nights is the perfect terroir for amazing white wines like Sauvignon Blanc. So it comes at no surprise that some of our best Sauvignon Blancs are grown and processed here at Diemersdal.

The History

Like all of our wineries, Diemersdal has a story to tell and this is what we learnt with our visit earlier this month. Simon van der Stel granted farmland to Hendrik Sneewind in 1698. Within 4 years the first wine was produced from this Estate at the hands of Captain Diemer who inherited the farm after marrying the widowed Sneewind. This history is based on the leather bound journal that was found on the farm confirming that the wine tales stretch back as far as three centuries. In 1885, the farm was bought by the Louw family and today the sixth and seventh generation of Louw’s are working together to continue to build on the foundations set in bring some of the best wines to our tables. Authenticity and determination has grown this brand to a well known name to both national and international markets.

The Tasting Venue and Service

This was a hot day, so we were seated under the leafy greens of oak trees and well established grapevine arbor overlooking the majestic garden to the one side and the vineyards to the other. Green therapy is a real thing and with this setting, any hot day is one to be enjoyed and celebrated with wine. Come hungry as the cheese and charcuterie board is a must. Marko hosted our wine tasting spoiling us with stories and tales of the winelands and the wine itself. His charm and passion for wine and viniculture shone through and contributed greatly to the successful sales made at the end of our visit.

The Wine

The Flagship tasting is a true value for money as it gives you the freedom to select wine from the Estate, Reserve, Premium and The Journal range wines.

Starting with the CC Blanc de Blanc – It is a must as it is brand new to the market and such a flirty entry for what is to come. Do not let the biscotti and tropical sweetness mislead you as this Chardonnay block has faced many weather changes over her lifespan of 37 years – a true Old Vine Queen.

Now that the palate is awake – the whites. As mentioned earlier, white wine is king in this area and we could not agree more as the Sauvignon Blancs stood tall across all ranges. Here is a small summary of my experience on a couple of them…

  • The Winter Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2023 – the best ‘accidental’ winemaking technique at the hands of Thys Louw. To present a wine at the South African Young Wine show the 2013 harvest fell outside of the harvest requirements to qualify. So he froze the grape juice, thawed and processed it in time for bottling, bringing home the General Smuts Trophy. 11 years of perfecting the process, the free-run grape juice is frozen at -20 degrees Celsius for 5 months to halt the fermentation process. The fermentation process is ignited after hibernation and thawed in the winter sun before fining the wine to its beautiful blast of gooseberries and nestled minerality.
  • The Eight Rows Sauvignon Blanc 2023 – is literally the produce of eight rows of Sauvignon grapes splitting the top and bottom half of a very special Sauvignon Blanc block. 17 years in the making and certainly a wine that is perfect for a hot summers day dancing among a follow through of aromas and flavours of nectarines and ripe gooseberries.
  • The Wild Horseshoe Sauvignon Blanc 2022 – sets a great expectation as the label is a photographed collection of horseshoes that were collected in the vineyards over the years of horse ploughed farming. Unusual for a Sauvignon Blanc, the wine is skin fermented and barrel aged leaving the wine with a forthcoming aroma of tropical fruit and bold flavours of the oak kissed smokiness.

Last but not the least – the reds. Driving up the driveway to the Louw’s homestead, the tasting room and Eatery restaurant, you are greeted with a red grape vineyard trellised and guarded buy anti-bird netting to keep the best for the wine lovers. This is a small indication of the thought though attention to detail to get the best out of every grape possible.

  • The Journal Pinotage 2021 – Referring to the leather bound journal found in 1702 representing that winemaking is not to be recreated, but built on generations of knowledge and refining techniques. Stunning red berries, dark chocolate and spice in harmony with smooth tannins. The perfect balance of South African origin wine aged in French oak barrels for 22 months.
  • The Journal Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 – Hello grippy and bold tannins and black current – recognising the merger of craftmanship by nature and the wine maker(s). The perfect way to end off this tasting with a satisfied palate.

Stay tuned for more bespoke wine experiences with Artroute.

A toast,