We have driven up the Hemel en Aarde road for many years, popping in on the different wine farms. Somehow we never stopped at Sumaridge. This came to an end a few weeks ago when we went to the estate to take some photographs for the Vineyard Hotel’s Food and Wine pairing dinner. (I’m aware that this write-up is a little late as the dinner was held last Friday, so my apologies, but in my defense we have had a few weeks of back to back conferences to photograph.
We were met at the entrance by the winemaker, Walter Pretorius (on his birthday), who ushered us down to the maturation cellar for a barrel tasting. Whilst Heather and I did the tasting, Matthew flew the drone around taking some stunning aerial photographs. He really is getting quite good with the Phantom and we are getting some very interesting views on the farms/estates that we are visiting.
Sumaridge is a boutique wine farm as only a certain amount of wine is produced each year – and they certainly have some delicious wines. They are known for producing award-winning cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but have a good range of varietals from Rosé to Pinotage and Syrah. There should be no problem finding something to suit your palette or your dinner party.
The 210 hectare estate is owned by Holly and Simon Bellingham-Turner. They bought the estate in 2007 and spend time both here and overseas throughout the year. Walter joined them a good few years back as an apprentice and after gaining valuable experience doing harvests in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, returned to Sumaridge. He has recently taken over the reins as winemaker and plans to continue with the current successful, award-winning style of wines.
After the barrel tasting we met with Lisa Dunn, from Marketing, and tasted through the current vintages in the tasting room while she filled us in on the upcoming vintages and a little history of the estate. We were treated to two of the very tasty platters that the estate serves daily between 12pm and 3pm.
Interesting extras: Sumaridge recently became home to the local rugby team, the Black Birds. The valley is rugby crazy and the field is abuzz on Saturday afternoons when the team plays at home. Sumaridge was once 2 fruit farms which were amalgamated to form the present estate, with the purpose being to produce world class Pinot Noir, amongst the other varietals.
All in all, we’re in agreement that stopping off at the at the picturesque estate is well worth it. The wines, views and ambience are beautiful and staff are extremely friendly. So when you are next traveling out to the Hemel en Aarde valley, make sure that you make time to pop in and taste the Sumaridge’s range.
The Wines We Tasted
Syrah : 2013
Lots of black fruits with gentle tanins, hints of spice and white pepper with a well balanced structure. Wonderful full mouth finish.
Alcohol : 12.5%
Acid : 5.1g/L
Residual Sugar : 2.7g/L
Composition : 15 months 225 & 500 lt
Production : 13200 bottles (1100 x 12 cases)
Release Date : April 2015
Maritimus : 2012
A well balanced White Blend which shows good character, crisp freshness, good acidity and a lively finish.
Estate White Blend : Sauvignon Blanc 49% :
Chardonnay 25% : Semillon 21% : Viognier 5%
Alcohol : 13.57%
Acid : 7.2g/L
pH : 3.14
Residual Sugar : 1.5g/L
Composition : 40% Used Barrels : 60% Tank for 6 months
Production : 11400 bottles (950 x 12 cases)
Release Date : October 2014
Chardonnay : 2014
The wine shows delicate fruit expression of the grape, lively minerality, hints of lime, quince and citrus fruits and a fresh creamy finish.
Alcohol : 13.31%
Acid : 6.1g/L
pH : 3.32
Residual Sugar : 2.0g/L
Composition : 10 months barrel maturation
100% Bourgogne Oak Barrels – 30% new wood
Production : 8500 bottles (708 x 12 cases)
Release Date : June 2016
Pinot Noir : 2012
Black cherries and dark fruits on the nose, this combined with cedar wood smokiness presents a complex yet easy drinking red wine with a smooth finish.
Alcohol : 14.4%
Acid : 5.7g/L
pH : 3.49
Residual Sugar : 3.0g/L
Composition : 100% Burgundian Coopers, 33% New wood with graduating 2nd, 3rd & 4th fill oak barrels
Production : 11100 x 750ml bottles (1850 x 6)
Release Date : May 2015
Epitome : 2010
A wonderful complex wine with plums on the nose and palate. Hints of spice and smokiness are joined on the palate. Well balance with smooth tanins. Good full mouth finish.
Estate Red Blend : Shiraz 60% : Pinotage 40%
Alcohol : 14.2%
Acid : 5.8g/L
pH : 3.51
Residual Sugar : 3.2g/L
Composition : 18 months 225 & 500 lt French oak barrels –
50% new wood
Production : 15000 bottles (1250 x 12 cases)
Release Date : June 2015
Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley,
Hermanus, South Africa.
Tel: +27 (0)28 312 1097
Fax: +27 (0)86 623 4248