The Name Hermanuspietersfontein
Hermanus was originally known as Hermanuspietersfontein. Farmers from the Overberg in the early 1800’s preferred their children to be schooled in Dutch, the forerunner of Afrikaans. They paid a farm teacher from the Caledon district, Hermanus Pieters in sheep, which grazed at a spring (fontein) under the Milkwood trees near the old harbour. In 1855, long after his passing, the village was founded in his honour. In 1902 the postmaster shortened the name to Hermanus.
We decided to visit Hermanus last weekend as we needed to take some photographs for the upcoming Vineyard hotel #tastesof2017 dinners. We were extremely lucky to find two perfect days of sunshine. On the first day we popped into a few farms further up the valley (but that’s another report). on the second day we popped in to visit Hermanuspietersfontein. I love the names that they use for their wines, they are so classically South African.
On arrival I met with the winemaker, Wilhelm Pienaar, we took some photographs down in his maturation cellar. Afterwards we took a tour of the hallowed ground, the library. There are wines in there going back to the beginning. 2005 was a great year for the estate as this was their first bottling.
Once we had done in the cellar we where treated to a tasting with Anri (see below). As it was lunchtime we decided to sample their winter special, soup and a glass of wine. I had the chunky Pea & Ham paired with the Swartskaap (my favorite) and Heather had the Creamy Butternut paired with the Kat met die Houtbeen. Both were delicious, warm and hit the spot.
On Saturdays, the estate hosts a fresh food market in the quad of the winery. this has become a bit of an institution in Hermanus and is something that I would personally like to pop back and check out.
The Wines We Tasted
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot,Malbec, Petit Verdot
Appearance: Deep ruby to garnet red
Aroma: Plums, spice, fynbos and black olives
Palate: Intense, pure, persistence and a lingering finish
Varietals: Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier with a little bit of Grenache
Appearance: Deep ruby to brick red
Aroma: Sweet spices, dark chocolate and black olives
Palate: A generous mouthfeel, smooth tanins, persistent long finish.
Nr.5 Kat met die Houtbeen
Varietals: Sauvignon Blanc, with a little bit of Semillon
Appearance: Bright, clear, live green straw
Aroma: Dried apricots, subtle oak and good minerality
Palate: Rich and textured, layered with good structure and quite complex.
Nr.7 Kaalvoet Meisie
Varietals: Sauvignon blanc, with a little bit of Semillon and Nouvelle
Appearance: Bright, clear, live green tinge
Aroma: Granny Smith apples, white blossoms and fynbos
Palate: Crisp freshness, good minerality, quite concentrated.
Varietals: Cabernet franc
Appearance: Violet to ruby red
Aroma: Black olives, fynbos, hints of spice
Palate: Good minerality, elegant, finesse and complex.
Varietals: Shiraz, Mourvedre, Grenache, Viognier
Appearance: Brick red to deep purple
Aroma: Hints of spice, violets, black olives, dark chocolate and dark fruits.
Palate: A generous mouthfeel, smooth tanins and a long finish.
To contact the estate:
17 Village Lane, The Village, Hemel en Aarde, Hermanus, 7200 South Africa
+27 28 316 1875 – firstname.lastname@example.org