Lothian Vineyards

Born Wine-Import har gennem flere år smagt adskillige af Lothians vine og i samme periode har undersøgt om vi kunne blive deres importør til Danmark og Skandinavien og endelig i 2017 har det lukkedes at få aftalen hjem.

Vi er meget glade for Lothian Vineyards, som er beliggende i Elgin, med speciale i den burgundiske stil på ”Cape” vine.

Deres vine har et fantastisk europæisk kold klimas udtryk og samtidig rigtig saftige og modne.

Historien om Lothian Vineyards begyndte med en søgen efter det perfekte sted at dyrke Cape vine.

Familien Wilson har været involveret i vinproduktion i tre generationer og var fast besluttet på at skabe vine af højeste kvalitet.

For at gøre dette, skulle de finde et område, med de rigtige jordbundsforhold. Efter lang tids søgen, endte de i Elgin, hvor de fandt ejendommen Somersfontien ved floden Palmiet.

Den blev hurtig anerkendt for sit enorme potentiale.

Dog ville de ikke fremstille egne vine, før de havde fundet de ideelle drue varianter, samt kunne repræsentere første klasses vine.

Så Lothians tidligste produktioner, blev solgt til andre vingårde.

En vinmager fortalte Wilson, at hans druer var af så høj kvalitet nu og at han ikke burde sælge dem videre.

Der indså han så, at tiden var inde til at skabe deres egne vine.

Lothian producerer Pinot Noir, Chardonnay og tør Riesling, som dyrkes under ideelle forhold, takket være et køligt klima skabt af Mountain Shadows, sydvendte vinmarker og briser fra floden og nærliggende hav.

Under vinfremstillingen er der fokus på at udtrække de sande smage og give frugten til at udtrykke sig selv.

Wilsons engagement i at skabe vine af elegance og integritet blev valideret, da Lothian for 2011 Pinot Noir blev tildelt sølv på 2012 Decanter Verdens Wine Awards.

Wilson familiens beslutning om at gøre vin var længe undervejs.

Deres bedstemor som oprindeligt er fra Skotland ejede vingården Rust en Vrede i 1950’erne og 60’erne.

Deres mor boede i Lynedoch og arbejdede med Joubert familien og de leverede druer til vingården Spier.

Så det var kun naturligt, at Wilson brødrene ønskede at fortsætte familiens engagement i Cape vinfremstilling.

The idea to start up the Vineyard in Elgin

“Lothian Vineyards is a relatively new name in Elgin, the first vintage released in 2010, albeit in very small quantities.

Its name derives from the fact that proprietor Gavin Wilson’s ancestors all had Lothian in their name (nothing to do with a wall as suggested in Platter’s Guide.) He is based in the Cape but happened to be in the UK where I met him to taste current releases.

Though many moons ago his family was once proprietors of the famous Stellenbosch property Rust en Vrede, he spent his formative years working in a wine retail outlet in Jersey before realizing that he was never going to make money and embarked upon a successful career in finance. “I wanted to go back to what my grandmother and mother had done when they owned Rust en Vrede,” he explained. “So I started looking around the Cape in 2003.

I came close to buying in Franschhoek when somebody said that there was a property in Elgin for sale that was located in the Kogelberg National Park.

I ploughed pretty much everything I had made in finance into the estate, which had been a protea farm that had been ignored for a number of years.” Gavin relied on his viticulturalist for advice what to plant. “I wanted to plant Pinot, Chardonnay and Riesling, but my viticulturalist said we have to have Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz and so forth.

We planted them all, but the Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc have been grafted out and we doubled the amount of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The viticulturalist was fired. The estate is now run by my brother Ewen with former De Morgenzon winemaker Stephan Gerber as winemaker and Kevin Watt as a consultant.

Kevin has turned it round because it wasn’t what I wanted it to be.”

The 13.5 hectare vineyard runs alongside the Palmiet River, which at the time of meeting Gavin had broken its banks and flooded much of the estate (although the vines looked to be safe on higher ground by the photos he showed me).

All the fruit currently comes directly from the estate but he might out-source some Shiraz in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paradise on the Cape

The Wilson family’s non-interventionist artisanal wine-making technique flows into the feel of Lothian House: a feat of modern architecture, designed with sensitivity towards the environment.

Lothian estate is distinguished by nature, positioned in the UNESCO declared Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve.

Lothian Vineyards is a family estate in Elgin, on a bucolic property called Somersfontien on the Palmiet River.

The Wilson family’s non-interventionist artisanal wine-making technique flows into the feel of Lothian House: a feat of modern architecture, designed with sensitivity towards the environment.

   

Lothian estate is distinguished by nature, positioned in the Kogelberg Biosphere, which possesses 1654 plant species found nowhere else on earth. Guests at Lothian House are treated to a theatrical show of nature with sightings of rare Cape Leopard, African Fish Eagle, Cape Clawless Otter and Cape Eagle Owl between an array of outdoor experiences.

This three-year-long labour of love has resulted in the achievement of award-winning wines and the beguiling lifestyle of an unparalleled countryside retreat.

This 22.000 sq. feet countryside architectural wonder boasts uninterrupted views of Lothian’s vineyards, orchards, the private Applethwaite Lake, Palmiet River and the mesmerising Elgin valley mountain-scape.

Extraordinary care and attention was employed when attending to the look and feel of each bedroom and living space, ensuring opulence, privacy and quietude

As part of the Kogelberg Biosphere, Lothian Vineyards is an integral part of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

The unique biosphere plays host to 1654 plant species found nowhere else on earth. Amongst this immense diversity of flora, various species of fauna thrive, such as rare Cape Leopard, African Fish Eagle, Cape Eagle Owl and Cape Clawless Otter.

Since acquiring Lothian Vineyards, the Wilson family have removed alien vegetation from the banks of the Palmist River and Applethwaite Lake, planted over 1000 indigenous trees, introduced beehives to aide in pollination and installed nesting boxes for the resident population of Cape Eagle Owls.

The reclamation of the land has been driven by sustainable agricultural practices, which include planting cover crops to improve the soil and reducing the application of chemicals and pesticides.  

Working closely with the local community has been a key priority. The numerous stonewalls and intricate stone work – a major feature of the property, reminiscent of those on the west coast of Scotland – are the proud work of our own local, Lothian-trained stonemasons.

Lothian Vineyards’ aim is to work in harmony with nature, the community, and to craft wines that resonate with the rare qualities of this special site.

South African reds are all dark, meaty and chewy as biltong, right?

Well no, not all of them.

As Bob Dylan famously sang “the wines they are a changin’.” Either way this is something new and very, very special.

Produced by a Scottish family, this is cool-climate Burgundian elegance from the southern hemisphere. Dispel those dark thoughts and turn towards the light.

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