When in the Breede River Valley ..... Van Loveren

Another farm we visited during our wine tasting day in the Robertson wine valley was Van Loveren, a household name in South Africa and also one of the country's largest privately-owned wine brands. The vineyards were originally purchased in the late 1930’s by Hennie Retief. The property was part of a farm known as Goudmyn (the Afrikaans term for “goldmine”, reflecting the perceptions around the large sum paid for the original farm) and his section was named “Portion F”. His wife did not like the name (as wives sometimes do) and convinced her husband to rename the farm after one of her ancestors, Christina van Loveren.

Hennie made his first wine, a red muscadel, in 1939. As his sons, Nico and Wynand, grew older more vines were planted and a new cellar was built. Until 1980 all the wine was sold in bulk and it was only after they launched their Premium Grand Cru that they started to bottle Van Loveren wines. Nico and Wynand’s four sons joined the farm in the mid 1990’s as they completed their studies. These four cousins are the driving force behind the company that now owns 15 farms in the area, hence the Four Cousins wine label. Two cousins are viticulturists, one is the winemaker and the other the CEO looking after the business side of things.

The white cellar boasts modern gables and a brand new very slick tasting venue. We planned to eat pizzas at the estate restaurant, Christina’s but our visit was on a Tuesday, the only day of the week when the restaurant is closed. Our bad luck did not turn out to be bad at all. We bought some of the goodies in the deli to make our own olive/cheese platter and lazed the afternoon away on the deck outside under huge trees. The deck overlooks a beautiful garden with trees that each has a significant meaning or story attached to the family. It seems the older generation planted trees to commemorate special occasions or important historic events in the Retief family’s life.

You can visit their website here or like their Facebook page.

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