Tradition of Hospitality
Meerlust Estate has been part of the Myburgh family for eight generations, dating back to 1756. Long recognised for producing world-class wines, the Meerlust Estate is singularly rich in charm and history.
Today the family tradition of dedication to winemaking continues under the guidance of Hannes Myburgh who studied winemaking at Geisenheim in Germany and Château Lafite in France. Chris Williams was appointed Cellar Master at Meerlust prior to the 2004 harvest. Williams studied winemaking at Elsenburg College in Stellenbosch and was apprenticed to Giorgio Dalla Cia at Meerlust for five years before Giorgio’s retirement in 2004.
Meerlust is situated 15 kilometres south of Stellenbosch, with False Bay just five kilometres away. The Estate is uniquely positioned for the production of wines with exceptional complexity and character. In the summertime, ocean breezes and evening mists roll in from the coast to cool the vineyards. The grapes ripen slowly, thus achieving full, concentrated varietal flavours.
The Chardonnay is planted on well-drained alluvial soil with a clay subsoil. 100% barrel fermented in heavy toasted Allier oak, with partial malolactic fermentation in barrique. Aged on its lees in barrel for 12 months with batonnage throughout. It will age for up to eight years.
Until recently, Meerlust Red was only made in years when the vintage had not produced grapes of sufficient quality for Rubicon. The 2003 vintage changed all that. An enormous crop of exceptionally high quality after the previous ‘declassified’ year, meant there was an appetite for Meerlust Red and the grapes available to make it. Such has been its success that the Red has now become part of the range.
The Pinot Noir vineyards have been planted on the most elevated, coolest part of the Meerlust Estate to create the pure expression of this variety. The grapes are pressed, fermented dry in open tanks and then the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in new, heavy toast Allier oak barriques. It is matured for 11 months in barrel before bottling.
Meerlust Estate has six Merlot vineyards which all produce very different but complementary wines used in the Merlot blend. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, following malolactic fermentation, the wine is matured in 300 litre oak casks for 18 months then aged for a further two years in bottle before release. This wine has a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend and can be cellared for up to 15 years.
Now celebrating its quarter century, Rubicon was the first Bordeaux blend produced in South Africa, and has rightly maintained its iconic status since then. A blend of 74% Cabernet, 8% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc, each varietal is fermented separately in steel tanks and blended after malolactic fermentation. Once blended, the wine is matured in Nevers oak barriques for 24 months, then aged for a further two years after bottling before release. If kept in the correct cellar conditions this wine can age for up to 25 years.
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