Long-established brand invigorated with new ranges

The wine world’s young guns, mavericks and revolutionaries may dominate the chatter about the cutting-edge of South African wine, but at the same time, centuries-old brands are reinventing themselves.

Although its roots date back to the first vines planted there in 1693, Bellingham’s modern-day stature is credited to Bernard Podlashuk, who bought and set about restoring the farm and manor house in 1943 – and became one of the wine mavericks of his time.

With Podlashuk at the helm, Bellingham released the Cape’s first rosé in 1949 and pioneered single-varietal shiraz, releasing the first in 1956. Shiraz remains a key focus today, featuring in both the Homestead range, and in the Bernard Series in the Small Barrel SMV (shiraz-mourvédre-viognier) blend and the single-varietal Basket Press Syrah.

Owners DGB are moving to reinvigorate the Bellingham brand with a focus on the “upper-level” Bernard Series and Homestead Series, and shifting entry-level wines such as the Big Oak Red and others in the “Tree” series over to other DGB brands, says in-house sommelier Kris Snyman.

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