Now I’m a girl who loves a good backstory, and I have to say, theirs is a pretty good one… Another thing I really love is memorable branding. On that front they had me totally suckered with their cute little sheep mascot and the clever Afrikaans names for their wines.
So how does it all fit together? Well back in the early 1800s, farmers from the Overberg region chose to have their children schooled in Dutch, which was the forerunner of the Afrikaans language. As payment, the farm teacher, Mr Hermanus Pieters, was handsomely paid in sheep and he used to let them graze at a spring (fontein in Afrikaans) under milkwood trees near the sea. In 1855, after he had passed, they decided to name the village in his honour and Hermanuspietersfontein was born. But then in 1902 the postmaster put a spanner in the works because he just couldn’t make this hefty name fit on a tiny postal stamp. So he sommer decided that he would shorten it to just Hermanus… and that’s the beautiful whale town we all love & cherish today.
As a homage to that first little village, Mr Pieters & their way of life, Hermanuspietersfontein winery has committed to only using Afrikaans for their wine names & labels and we were told that their tasting room is fully Afrikaans as well. Maar dis mos lekker kwaai man..
At the &Union tasting we got to try 3 of their sauvignon blancs from their classic range of wines:
- Nr.3 Sauvignon Blanc
- Nr.5 Sauvignon Blanc
- Nr.7 Sauvignon Blanc
And no, the numbers don’t have any real significance. It just happened to be the numbers of the blocks on the winery where the grapes come from.
Out of the 3 we tried, I really enjoyed the Nr.5 – but the R150 price tag wasn’t for me. It’s just a personal thing really. There are so many sauvignon blancs I truly enjoy which fall within the R85 – R100 category, that I very rarely spend more than that on this specific wine variety. A sauvignon seriously has to blow my hair back for me to spend that much and I just felt this specific one wasn’t quite there.
They do have a cheapie called the “Sonner nommer” (meaning it doesn’t have a number) which is classed as more of an everyday wine and costs only R65 at their cellar. Apparently this one does really well.
While browsing through their little wine guide, I noticed a flagship, award-winning sauvignon, “Die Bartho” – named after their winemaker, Bartho Eksteen. I see it sells for R174, but I’m very interested to give it a try as Platter’s Wine Guide gave it a whopping 5 stars. This might just be the one to make me whip out that credit card. Who knows.
But the wines that really got my attention in that little wine guide were the reds. Mostly thanks to their cute names (I will admit) but also because of their French styling as I do tend to enjoy Bordeaux wines… I was very very sad that they weren’t included in the tasting. They have the following reds in their arsenal:
- 1855 Posmeester (Lifestyle range) – a fresh Bordeaux style blend
- Swartskaap (Classic range) – Cabernet Franc wine
- Kleinboet (Classic range) – 5 varietal Bordeaux style wine
- Die Arnoldus (Flagship range) – full bodied 5 varietal Bordeaux style wine
- Die Martha (Flagship range) – Rhone-style Shiraz-driven blend
Oh and then last, but not least… probably the cutest name of all, their blush wine called “Bloos”. So sooooo cute.
In the end I left the tasting promising myself that I would make it my mission to try out their other wines…
Just 2 days later my autumn copy of WineStyle magazine arrived, and who did I find on the first page? None other than my fluffy friend!
I was like… this is a sign! I just HAVE to try more of their wines. A couple days later I was at Spar in Cape Quarter for a quick grocery shop for a very last minute dinner I was hosting at my place. There, right in the middle of an ocean of red wines, I spotted one lonesome bottle of Hermanuspietersfontein “Kleinboet”. I was really surprised because I was sure I would only find it at boutique wine shops. But I was very happy to stumble upon it. That bottle was clearly destined to come home with me.
The bottle itself is really quite beautiful. It would definitely impress your snooty friends (everyone seems to have at least one set of those right ). This boy did need to breathe a little, but once it settled, it went down like a treat. I paid R108.95 for it, which is the same as the cellar price and it just made me even more excited to push ahead and try the rest….
So here’s to continued drunkenness in the name of research and counting lots of little sheep in the process!
PS. If anyone else has tried their wines, please let me know which is your favourite. That might help my “research” somewhat.