Winemaker Justin van Wyk, responsible for creating the signature cool climate Constantia Glen wines since 2011, has launched his own Van Wyk Family Wines range at the picturesque award winning wine estate.
For his Van Wyk Family wines, Justin, who joined the Constantia Glen wine team as assistant winemaker in 2008, is focusing on grape varieties and wine styles that are quite different from the Bordeaux-styles that Constantia Glen is known for.
The four Van Wyk Family wines in the range are made of grapes sourced by Justin from specially selected vineyards planted across the Western Cape. These wines are crafted at the Constantia Glen Winery and are available for purchase and tasting at the estate’s tasting room.
The two white and two red wines illustrate the Western Cape’s heritage grape varieties, with the majority of the grapes being sourced from relatively old vineyards.
“In order to showcase the diversity of the Cape’s soils and climates, I buy grapes from Darling, Stellenbosch, Breedekloof, Elgin and even Montagu. For me it is about exploration and learning from others about a product that I am very passionate about,” explains Van Wyk.
Van Wyk Family Wines Chenin Blanc 2016 is made from grapes sourced from a 37 year old vineyard in the Slanghoek Valley in the Breedekloof. Blended with a splash of 10% Riesling to add some freshness to the palate, this debut Chenin Blanc has ripe yellow fruit and citrus flavours with broad mouthfeel, moderate acidity and long savoury finish.
Van Wyk Family Wines Olivia Grace 2016 is a unique Cape white blend of 43% Chenin Blanc, 26% Chardonnay, 26% Riesling and 5% Viognier. With the first swirl of the glass, floral whiffs of lavender, jasmine and white blossom greet the nose, melding with a vibrant acidity on the palate. While the Chenin Blanc is the backbone of this harmonious Cape white blend, the other grape varieties add layers of flavour, texture and freshness to the wine.
Van Wyk Family Wines Rebecca May 2016 is an intriguing blend of 62% Cinsaut and 38% Syrah. The Cinsaut stems from a Breedekloof vineyard planted in 1995 in extremely rocky soil, predominantly made up of white river stones. The reflection of light off the stones creates unique ripening conditions for the grapes. The Syrah component was sourced from the cool-climatic region of Elgin. Whiffs of juicy red berries unfold into floral notes of pressed violets, while the medium-bodied, yet persistent palate provides good balance and drinkability.
Van Wyk Family Wines Syrah 2016 was crafted to express pure Syrah fruit from cool-climate vineyards and matured for 12 months in second fill French oak barrels after undergoing fermentation with 50% whole-bunch and 50% destemmed grapes. Dark fruit flavours followed by elegant spice and white pepper unfold into an enticing bouquet of floral notes, wild rosemary and fynbos. It has a medium-bodied palate with good tension and balance.
“These wines are very special to me as they bear my family name. The blends are crafted to showcase the diversity of the Cape, and these are particularly dear to me as they are named after my two daughters, Rebecca May and Olivia Grace,” says Van Wyk.
Featuring daffodils, the national flower of Wales, the Van Wyk Family Wines logo pays tribute to his wife, Tracy’s Welsh heritage. “The three colourful flowers symbolise my wife and daughters who bring so much happiness, colour and laughter into my life. Their playful spirit and joie de vivre are my inspiration to work hard and create something special and unique,” explains Van Wyk.
Van Wyk’s own Karoo roots also feature strongly. “The Merino ram, windmill and Karoo hills on the logo depict my own heritage and where I come from,” adds Van Wyk, who grew up on a Merino sheep farm in the Great Karoo where his family still farm today.
The Van Wyk Family Wines range is available directly from the Constantia Glen estate, as well as a few fine dining restaurants and boutique wine shops. The wines sell at a cellar door price of R220 per bottle.
Known for exceptional cool climate Bordeaux-style red and white wines, Constantia Glen is open from Sunday to Thursday from 10h00 until 17h00 and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10h00 until 20h00. Look out for the Constantia Glen signs towards the top of Constantia Main Road. Call 021-7955639, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.constantiaglen.com, www.facebook.com/ConstantiaGlen or follow @ConstantiaGlen on Twitter and Instagram. The GPS co-ordinates are S 34º 0’39.6” E 18º 24’30.6”.