100% Chenin Blanc – ‘Steen’ or ‘Stone’ in English.
‘Steen’ – Zuid-Afrika – Delheim
Wine made from 100% ‘Steen’ (‘Stone’). This is the same grape variety that is called Chenin Blanc in the rest of the world. The producer is Delheim Estate, a well known domain in the Western Cape. The wine ferments at a low, controlled temperature in stainless steel vats to retain as much freshness as possible. Pale yellow in colour, it smells of tropical fruit and citrus aromas. Elegant taste with a good balance, fresh acids and a fruity finish. Now drinking as an aperitif, with prawns and fish.
History of Stellenbosch: The town of Stellenbosch is named after Simon van der Stel, who explored the area in 1679 and was deeply impressed by its beauty and fertility. Today, Stellenbosch is the centre of viticulture in South Africa, with a large number of wineries in the vicinity. Stellenbosch is home to the University of Stellenbosch, which offers a doctorate in viticulture and oenology. Close to Stellenbosch is the Nietvoorbij Institute of Viticulture and Oenology (where, among other things, all wines are inspected for quality, so that a well-known saying among African wine producers is: “Slegte wine komt nie voorbij nie.”), with a state of the art winery and several tasting stations, where research is conducted into new grape varieties, rootstocks and clones. Also close to Stellenbosch is the Elsenburg School of Agriculture.
The town itself (with approximately 75,000 inhabitants) is a lively university town, with a pleasant and historic centre, in which the Cape Dutch architectural style is still very much present. The many oaks that can be found in the city also refer to wine-growing: the first European wine growers who settled here planted oaks in order to have wood for their barrels. But the trees grow much too fast in South Africa’s warm climate, and the wood is therefore unsuitable for use as barrels – it is too porous. Therefore, barrels are now imported from France and America, although there are plenty of experiments with barrels from Russia and Hungary.