Bellingham, one of South Africa’s oldest and most revered wine brands with a history dating back to 1693, remains a force in the modern wine industry, having racked-up no less than eight 90pts-plus ratings in the latest report on South African wine by Tim Atkin MW. This is Atkin’s ninth report on the Cape wine industry, for which he scrutinised over 1 800 wines before writing his summation, which is internationally regarded as a leading guide into the quality of South African wines.
Bellingham saw these top scores going to the following wines: Founders’ Series Freda 2019 (93pts), The Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage 2018 (93pts), Founders’ Series Quintessential Couple 2020 (92pts), The Bernard Series Small Barrel Maverick SMV 2018 (92pts), Founders’ Series Pod 2019 (91pts), The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2019 (91pts), Homestead Red Blend 2017 (90pts) and Bernard Series Hand Picked Viognier 2019 (90pts).
One of the premium wine brands in the DGB stable, Bellingham sees various wines in its range paying tribute to Bernard and Freda Podlashuk, who had a profound role in the Cape wine industry upon acquiring Bellingham in 1943.
“The fact that Bellingham continues to garner international acclaim, such as in the latest Tim Atkin Report, is an honour to the legacy left by the founding fathers and specifically the Podlashuks,” says Andrew Harris, Marketing Director: Wine at DGB.
“It is a privilege for Bellingham to be able to include wines named after the Podlashuks, such as The Bernard Series, Founders Series Freda and the Quintessential Couple. “It is this legacy that has inspired us to continue making a diverse range of quality premium wines that count among the best offerings from South Africa.”
Richard Duckitt, the winemaker responsible for the Bellingham range, says the soul aim of the brand is to bottle the best wine under each of the various labels within the brand in a style conveying elegance and drinkability, while expressing the diversity of Cape terroir.
“For this, Bellingham’s viticulture team uses its decades-long relationships with the best growers throughout the Cape winelands to source top-quality fruit for each wine in the range,” says Duckitt. “Innovation and flexibility also play a huge role, allowing the range to include wines suitable for a wide spectrum of wine-lovers. Thus, one finds our Homestead Red Blend 2017, a wine at a remarkably affordable price of under R100 a bottle under the Bellingham label alongside a world-class Chenin Blanc made from historical old vineyards.”
Duckitt says the eight 90pt-plus scores are an important indicator of Bellingham’s consistency in quality. “When you have a relatively large and diverse wine range, such as what we do, one of the most important challenges is to ensure consistent quality through the board,” says Duckitt. “Having eight wines come in with scores of 90pts is sound proof of this consistency, both in the making of the wines as well as the exceptional quality of the grapes we have access to from various Cape wine regions.”