Simon & The Huguenots Sauvignon/Semillon
The wine’s name references two important aspects of the history of South African wine making.
Simon van der Stel was the first Governor of the Dutch Cape Colony, holding office from 1691 until 1699. The town of Stellenbosch, founded in 1679, was named after him. Widely considered as father of the Cape wine industry, van der Stel was also the first Governor to be of mixed race-origin.
The Huguenots were French Protestants who as members of the Reformed Church were habitually persecuted for their beliefs. In 1685 Huguenots fled the country for Holland in order that they could enjoy religious freedom. Between 1688 and 1689, the Dutch East India Company organised large-scale emigration to the Cape, which included Huguenots who were highly skilled tradesmen or farmers – some bringing experience in viticulture.
Simon van der Stel set aside land for the Huguenots along the Berg River valley, which included Franschhoek (‘French corner’) and present-day Paarl. His actions and their expertise was the founding of South Africa’s wine industry.
Citrus, lime, fresh lemon with gooseberry and passion-fruit character with grassy notes from the Sauvignon. Very refreshing pear, melon and tropical fruit flavours.
About the Producer
Vielliera is a large farm on the edge of the Stellenbosch appellation. For over 30 years the Griers of Villiera have been unlocking the marvels of nature to create the distinctive wines and sparkling wines that bear the family name.
Of the 400ha around half is dedicated to vineyards with the balance set aside as a wildlife reserve. This is the quintessential family business, with cousins Simon and Jeff working in the vines and cellar respectively, whilst Jeff’s sister, Cathy, runs the sales and marketing.
One of the early supporters of ‘green’ viticulture, viticulturist Simon Grier has always been a keen supporter of maintaining environmentally friendly vineyard practices. The farm has not sprayed insecticides for the past thirteen years and a flock of 1000 Peking ducks are responsible for some natural pest control.
The Grier’s are also responsible for running several social upliftment projects off the farm, including a day care centre for educating the 30-odd children, belonging to Villiera’s farm workers, and an after-school club. There is also a commitment to the Pebbles Project, teaching the kids the benefits of environmental awareness.
Villiera are also highly active in this field. There is a strong focus on water conservation, recycling and a greening project, which entails the planting of 1000’s of indigenous trees on the farm. This philosophy has led to a vibrant eco-system on the farm, including huge flocks of guinea fowl and pheasant as well as steenbok, Cape foxes, grey mongooses, porcupines and the threatened blue crane.