2020 reasons to be excited

Forget New Year’s resolutions! Our first newsletter of the year will remind you of 2020 reasons to live you best life. And remember – there’s no time for bad wine. Spoil yourself and reach for that bottle you were “saving” for a “special occasion”. You deserve it!

At the end of January, we had the most wonderful time at the 7th annual Pinot Noir Celebration. We’d been waiting for its arrival for months, so when the day finally rolled around we could barely contain our excitement. Read more about what our extra special guests got to experience while visiting our little patch of heaven.

We also sat down for a chat with our Farm Manager about his plans for our vineyards in the run up to the harvest and give you the run down on what happening on the farm.

Until next time…

Great wine wishes –

The Vierge Team

The best one yet!

The 7th Pinot Noir Celebration took place at the end of January. All we actually need to say is about it is that the event was a roaring success… By far the best one yet! But if you weren’t lucky (or quick) enough to get your hands a ticket, here are some of the highlights.

Upon arrival our guests were delighted with oysters and bubbly before moving on to a delightful evening of sipping carefully curated vintage Pinot Noirs from private cellars. Everyone had a wonderful time mingling and getting to know their fellow win aficionados while nibbling on the delectable creations of acclaimed chef, Craig Cormack.

But on Saturday the real action started! Guests, armed with comfy shoes and sunscreen embarked on a journey through the Hemel-en-Aarde appellations of La Vierge, Restless River and Creation Wines, followed by a lunchtime feast accompanied by crisp, brand new vintage Chardonnays from the valley. (We know, the event is called the Pinot Noir Celebration, but we just couldn’t resist showing off the other cultivar the region is famous for!) A particular highlight was the tasting hosted in our very own restaurant. The guests were completely enthralled by both Peter Finlayson’s wise words about making fantastic Pinot Noir and Anthony Hamilton-Russell’s exceptional knowledge of the region’s history. Truly a momentous occasion no one will forget any time soon.

When the light started fading and the evening arrived, guests moved along to Nidderdale Farm where the winemakers poured our esteemed guests some of their best work to sample. And then… The moment arrived for everyone to sit down to a feast fit for royalty. Local chefs from Creation, The Restaurant at Newton Johnson, Char’d Grill and acclaimed Chef Jason Lilley from Jason’s Bakery in Cape Town made sure guests left delighted (and absolutely stuffed!) The perfect pinnacle to a perfect celebration of our region’s pride and joy… Pinot Noir.

If you missed out on joining us at this year’s Pinot Noir Celebration, make sure to get your tickets early for next year’s event. Trust us when we say, it will be the highlight of your wine-tasting year!

And… Action!

Three months into the job, our Farm Manager, Neill Gellatly is knee deep in his first harvest with La Vierge. We thought this was a good time to sit down for a chat so we can tell you a little more about the man overseeing the most important phase in the life cycle of Babylon Farm.

Winemaking is in his blood, having grown up in Stellenbosch, worked at Klawer Cellars as their white wine maker and doing stints at other wine estates both locally, like our very own Sumaridge, and in spectacular international locations like Napa and Tasmania. Naturally, we wanted to know what he feels his unique journey will contribute to the La Vierge wine story…

And goodness… We could not help but be inspired. Did you know that Neill is also a winemaker? That not only gives him a special edge on what exactly needs to happen in the vineyards, but it means he’s overflowing with innovative  ideas.  “I’d really like to get started on optimising the systems in place on the farm to free up time for us to focus on the small things that require our attention,” says Neill. “In time I’d like my team to be so tight that they can carry on with business as usual even if I need to be away for a few days.”

We came away excited about what the harvest season will bring and to see what lies ahead for both Neill and his team on this exciting journey.

All hands on deck!

It’s all very exciting, that time of year when harvest season rolls around… So much promise, so much opportunity; captured in the shape of a bunch of grapes. And this year’s harvest has proven to be no less exciting or challenging than other years.

The first of the grapes have been harvested and work continues steady on. Happy faces peek out from between the vines, everyone content knowing their role in helping to produce our award-winning wines. But Farm Manager, Neill Gellatly‘s job was not all smooth sailing in the run up to this season. “We had a lot of rain very late in the season, with 91mm recorded in January alone, when it would’ve been ideal to keep the vines dry.” But Neill goes on to say that despite a few hurdles, the grapes are in excellent condition and that his primary focus is on getting it to the cellar in the same condition. “We are expecting a big harvest this year – the biggest in a number of years. It’s all very exciting.”

Keep an eye on our social media channels for more updates as the harvest progresses.

Talking about Pinot Noir

Since the Pinot Noir Celebration took place at the end of last month and all the focus was (and continues to be) on the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and the fabulous examples of this wonderful cultivar it has produced, we thought we’d tell you a little about one of our own.

La Vierge Noir is our flagship Pinot Noir and, as it happens, we just made available the latest vintage! Join us in celebrating the arrival of the 2015 vintage by allowing us to tell you a few things about it. This elegant wine shows off our cooler climate beautifully with both earthy and bright fruity characteristics. Made from the highest altitude block of Pinot on our farm the grapes used in its production enjoyed cool early morning temperatures and maritime breezes.

This particular vintage of our timeless classic beautifully accentuates the typical savoury notes synonymous with this Burgundy variety. And yet the sweetness of red fruit and deep floral flavours will dance elegantly across your palate too. Safely allow the 2015 La Vierge Noir Pinot Noir to develop over the next 5 years and it will sublimely accompany dishes like a hard cheese platter, mushroom risotto and roast game.

Get your stash straight from our Tasting Room and keep an eye out for more info about our wines in future issues of our newsletter.


Want to get your hands on a bottle of the BRAND NEW 2015 La Vierge Noir Pinot Noir? Good news! Here is your opportunity. Simply follow these very simply instructions:

  1. Take a selfie with one of our fabulous wines. (Any one of our wines will be fine; it doesn’t have to be La Vierge Noir.)
  2. Give your selfie a funny caption.
  3. Send it to privatetasting@lavierge.co.za
  4. Wait to hear if you’re a winner!

*Remember, we’ll be using the photos on our social media channels. So keep it clean!