Vrede en Lust Takes Top Honours at NWC for Best White and Red Bordeaux Blend


Vrede en Lust Wine Estate has shown its mastery in the making of both red and white blends with an impressive performance at the annual National Wine Challenge (NWC). Now in its 7th year, this com-petition incorporates the Top 100 SA wines competition and aims to identify the finest local wines by cultivar and blend. The widely loved wine farm located in a beautiful corner of the Drakenstein Valley between Paarl and Franschhoek was awarded an impressive 3 double platinum/Top 100 accolades, as well as 4 double gold and 3 double silver awards.

Vrede en Lust’s double platinum winning wines are: The Boet Erasmus 2013, Barrique 2015 and Lady J Syrah 2013. The Boet Erasmus is the estate’s flagship red Bordeaux blend. Made in a classical New World style, it is Cabernet Sauvignon dominated and barrel matured for 18 months. The wine is named after owners, the Buys family’s late grandfather, who was a legendary rugby administrator and tower-ing inspiration to his family and community.

The Barrique is Vrede en Lust’s white Bordeaux blend led by Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc. Sémillon is one of winemaker Susan Erasmus’ favourite varieties to work with and one that she believes has vast potential in South Africa. It is a rich, complex wine with earthy and quince characteristics, elegant-ly balanced by a lingering minerality, showing why this category is increasingly gaining popularity among local consumers. It forms part of Vrede en Lust’s Black Label ultra premium range.

The Lady J Syrah was named after brothers Etienne and Dana Buys’ mother on her 80th birthday. Ouma Johanna is the matriarch behind the wine and like her, it is a showpiece of elegance and finesse. Made from two diverse pockets of vineyards, it displays a wide spectrum of varietal flavours, from fra-grant violets and plums to well defined dark berry fruit, along with soft spice and black pepper.

To crown the stellar NWC results, Grand Cru First Place for overall category wins was awarded to both the Boet Erasmus and the Barrique.

Topping both white and red classes in the Bordeaux category is an achievement that has been received with great elation and pride by the Vrede en Lust team, especially the dynamic winemaking team con-sisting of acclaimed winemaker Susan Erasmus and assistant Karlin Nel, who have just completed a demanding harvest season. “As a winemaker, reading through the list of results that we have achieved this year is very rewarding. The accolades confirm our commitment to producing high quality wines, true to terroir and nurtured by nature, as well as a varied range of wines for our consumer,” says Susan.

The results shone the spotlight on Vrede en Lust’s versatility as fine wine producer, something that Su-san also alluded to. Apart from the Simonsberg-Paarl estate, Vrede en Lust accquired a farm in Elgin called Casey’s Ridge in 2005. The varied climate and terroir of the two farms allow the winemakers to make a wide range of distinctive site-specific wines. Grapes for the red Bordeaux is, for example, sourced from the eastern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain which are well suited for Cabernet and Merlot while the white Bordeaux varieties are grown on the red shale soils of the cooler Elgin property.

This consummate attention to detail in the vineyards lays the foundation for the critical and commer-cial success of Vrede en Lust wines, and is also carried through to the cellar where the wines are gently handcrafted with utmost respect for the pristine fruit. Add to this the creative flair and feminine touch that wine enthusiasts have come to associate with the brand, and it’s simple to understand why Vrede en Lust is going from strength to strength.