DE WETSHOF ESTATE
ROBERTSON- SOUTH AFRICA
"The titan of the industry", is how Platters Guide, South Africa's leading wine guide, described Danie de Wet in 2015. It was Danie de Wet who showed that chardonnay belongs in Robertson. The best man, born in 1949, has now reached retirement age. Although he is still active, the day-to-day running of the domain has been taken over by his two sons: Johann (CEO) and Peter (winemaker). Peter learned the trade from his father and also gained experience abroad. Like his father, he studied oenology at the University of Geisenheim in Germany and helped with harvests in Saint-Emilion, Chablis, Champagne and Pfalz, Germany. His favorite wines to make? That is of course chardonnay, the signature of De Wetshof. But surprisingly also: merlot. "Very difficult to get the right grapes, actually one of the hardest wines to make, but with great rewards," said Peter in an interview.
The Wetshof has a vineyard area of 200 hectares, of which about two-thirds is planted with chardonnay. The grape blends in perfectly with the cooler climate of Robertson Valley and the chalk and limestone soils that characterize the area. The remainder is planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The history of De Wetshof goes back to 1693, the De Wet family belonged to the first inhabitants of the Cape. Shortly after 1800, the first De Wets settled in the Robertson area, where they also began to develop vineyards. Johann and Peter de Wet are continuing that course as the sixth generation.
As real wine lovers, the Robertson Wine Valley is probably our favourite wine area! It is situated perfectly along the R62, which is also called the longest wine route in South Africa. The area is a bit less touristy than the Cape Winelands and the surroundings are more rugged and natural. Towns such as Robertson and Montagu have some lovely small-scale guesthouses such as Balinderry Guesthouse or Mimosa Lodge, where you could spend a few nights, while you explore the area during walks, hikes, and of course wine tastings! The perfect stop-over during a road trip in the southern part of South Africa. Another bonus is that there is no malaria at all in this area!