Oldenburg Vineyards excells on international wine stage

Date posted:
June 6, 2011

A mere three years after its very first commercial vintage, Oldenburg Vineyards near Stellenbosch has won a brace of gold medals on the international wine stage, making its commitment to producing fine wine of the highest quality clear for all to see.

The first announcement of Oldenburg Vineyards’ “gold rush” came from the authoratitive 2011 Syrah du Monde in France when the estate’s Syrah 2008, its first commercial vintage, was awarded a gold medal. Later the same day, Oldenburg won its second gold medal at the 2011 International Wine Challenge in London for the its 2010 Chenin Blanc.

“We are delighted with the early success of our first vintages which we believe demonstrates quite clearly the fact that Oldenburg has quite a unique terroir,” says a proud Adrian Vanderspuy, owner. “Our conviction to date that our vineyards are quite special and therefore capable of producing outstanding wines has only been strengthened by these results. I believe it to be quite rare that first vintages gain this type of success.”

Winemaker Simon Thompson agrees. “This is the result of our total and uncompromising commitment to produce wine of the highest possible quality. We are obviously very glad and proud of these awards as they prove that all our efforts, from the vineyard all the way through to the cellar, are paying dividends. They also serve as a reminder that we cannot rest on our laurels and that we must continue to strive for perfection. But this is just the beginning!”

International experts tasted 383 syrah/shiraz wines from 24 countries over three days and awarded only 34 gold medals during the 5th edition of the Syrah du Monde international wine competition.

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has cemented its place as the best and most influential blind tasting in the world and boasted over 10 000 entries this year. It brings together the very best judges in the world for this two-week competition.

When Vanderspuy brought Oldenburg Vineyards back to life, he was completing a circle. Born on a neighbouring farm, he left South Africa as a small child, returning to Stellenbosch annually to visit his grandparents on Oldenburg and Old Nectar in Jonkershoek.

With extensive research into the winemaking potential of the farm, he bought the farm in 2003. It was clear from the analysis of the terroir that the farm had potential to produce wines of outstanding quality, thus he decided to replant the vineyards, which had suffered from over a decade of neglect.  

Oldenburg Vineyards released its first commercial vintage in early 2010, with a Cabernet Franc 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and Syrah 2008, and in January 2011 released their maiden white wine vintages, a Chenin Blanc 2010 and a Chardonnay 2010.

Oldenburg’s vision is to establish itself as a premium boutique producer. In 2004 Adrian employed viticulturist and winemaker, Simon Thompson, who was previously at Tokara. Their shared belief is that Oldenburg is the ideal location to realise this vision.

As Simon says about the farm: “The geography, the soil and the climate all point to the possibility to make extraordinary wines. Here we have everything we need from nature, to make the best wines.” He adds that the philosophy is to tread as lightly as possible and to craft wines with minimal intervention. “We strive to interact with nature in a sustainable manner.”

As much as possible is done by hand, including pruning, leaf removal, crop thinning, weeding and harvesting. “Vineyards can survive for decades, and even centuries, with the correct approach and care, and we believe ours will also,” says Adrian.


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