Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Here is our annual summary written for the John Platter Wine Guide

The last twelve months have been an exciting time for the Vilafonté team Рthe first full year in our own facility. Our ongoing vision is to establish a diminutive stable of South African thoroughbreds. We have seen a consolidation of quality across all our inputs as a result of our efforts and feel this improvement will continue in future.
In this vein, the vineyard team has worked tirelessly to bring out of the vineyard small crops of intense flavors in our Bordeaux varietals. One hectare plots reflect the soil changes and each of these small plots produces grapes of distinct personality. As part of our ongoing planting programme, our first vineyard has been planted using EM38 ground penetrating radar – a new technique being developed and spearheaded by Phil Freese which promises to take a lot of the guesswork out of soil mapping and planting.Our vineyards are now into their second decade and we are in the exciting position to be able to start showing verticals of our wines with three vintages in the market, the 2006 bottled, the 2007 showing remarkable finesse and the small 2008 vintage promising big things.
What’s new?
Edward Pietersen continues his progress as Vineyard Manager. The fact that he has come from almost zero background in farming as a black construction worker to become a highly prized asset at Vilafonte is awesome. After three years under the tutelage of Phil Freese, he has risen to become a highly skilled and knowledgeable vineyard manager in his own right. He is currently a key part of our A-team and his progress shows no sign of abating.

New markets
Vilafonte continues expansion into Asia. You are now able to find Vilafonte in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia, Singapore from the Peninsula Hotel and the Four Seasons right down to the trendy wine bars that are springing up all over Asia. We can confidently say that Asia is the biggest driver for our growth and certainly the most exciting. Zelma plans a 2 week marketing trip to Hong Kong, Japan, Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei in November which will continue to drive our brand and build our presence. We have also expanded into Russia and Estonia with further developments pegged for 2009. France continues to surprise on the upside with a strong showing and potential for more growth in this interesting market.
These combined efforts have allowed us to continue filling the trophy cabinet with Golds at Mundus Vini for both wines, gold at Concours Mondial and 90 points or more from Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast & Wine Spectator.

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