Grande Provence Food Exterior. Image: Supplied.
Grande Provence Food Exterior. Image: Supplied.

Wine Estate embraces the resurgence of Chenin Blanc

By Sizwe Dlamini Time of article published Feb 24, 2018

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CAPE TOWN - Grande Provence, the landmark Heritage Wine Estate in Franschhoek, barely an hour’s drive from Cape Town, has embraced the resurgence of Chenin Blanc as a flag bearer for South African wines, with the launch of a new single varietal wine.

Grande Provence winemaker, Hagen Viljoen says: “For many, Chenin Blanc is one of South Africa’s top wine varieties and has a strong claim for pole position when it comes to being the driver for brand South Africa. The ready access to a rich heritage of old vineyards, as well as the variety’s versatility of styles certainly reinforces this claim.” 

Hagen Viljoen, an accomplished winemaker, is a Stellenbosch University Viticulture and Oenology graduate with at least 12 years of experience in local and international cellars. 
Viljoen, who took over the reins at the iconic wine estate from Matthew van Heerden, has extensive international knowledge and says wine is indelibly intertwined in his destiny, both personally and professionally.

Grande Provence winemaker, Hagen Viljoen. Image: Supplied.
Chenin Blanc forms the core of the estate’s white wines and the new Grande Provence Chenin Blanc 2017 completes its unique expression of this grape variety with a collection of four completely diverse wines.

Sales and marketing manager, Ivan Oertle, says Grande Provence is part of the internationally renowned Huka Retreats with luxury properties in unmatched locations in New Zealand and Fiji. “A successful international hospitality business with the vision to do this with wines as part of the offer. 

“Grande Provence’s long-term strategy is to build on this vision of being the preferred winelands hospitality, food and wine destination and excel in quality and service.”
Oertle explains that the wine estate’s operating philosophy is built on being a quality hospitality, food and wine experience for local and international customers seeking a premium offer. 

Sales and marketing manager, Ivan Oertle. Image: Supplied.
Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate wears its 300-year history with dignity. A haven of tranquillity with outstretched vistas of Franschhoek Valley with the heightened drama of the rugged mountains beyond. 

Oertle says one of Grande Provence’s greatest achievements is to continually live up to offering a premium winelands hospitality dream experience for discerning guests.

He says last(2017) December the estate launched new wines, including two new Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) bubblies, and tasting offers. Last month(JANUARY) Grande Provence launched new oyster and MCC pairings and opened an oyster bar in the garden serving fresh West Coast oysters. 

MCC is a South African term indicating a sparkling wine made in the traditional method by which a secondary fermentation takes place inside the bottle – the same way Champagne, from the historical province in the northeast of France, is made. 

“The new initiatives were successful and became top sellers in the tasting room over the festive season,” says Oertle. 

Grande Provence La Provencale Exterior. Image: Supplied.
“We also achieved multiple new listings with new wines in many wine shops and restaurants around the country and in Europe.  The product launches were successful due to the fact that they were relevant, natural gaps in the range and in the market, attractively priced and packaged with very appealing flavour profiles to a wide consumer base,” he explains. 

The newly released Grande Provence Chenin Blanc 2017, is a straight varietal wine produced from vineyards in the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek regions. “Chenin Blanc is a fantastic blending partner and allows for endless stylistic expressions by the winemaker when added to other varieties,” says Viljoen. 

Steeped in history the wine estate, bought by French Huguenot Jean Joubert, dates back to 1694, around the time of the first French Huguenots in Franschhoek. 

Grande Provence, tucked away in the heartland of South African wine country, offers a true South African wine heritage as well as a myriad of experiences, which include gourmet cuisine and French inspired picnics, to accommodation, private dining and a collection of contemporary South African art.


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