Just outside Bonnievale, in the picturesque Robertson Wine Valley, lies the historical Weltevrede: the Jonker family wine estate whose rich heritage extends an impressive four generations: aptly named ‘Weltevrede’ by founder Klaas Jonker in 1912, meaning ‘well satisfied’. The setting alone inspires this inward contentment as do the superb wines which hail from this idyllic setting.
And what better way to experience the glory of this utopia and the Jonker family legacy, than by experiencing the effervescence of Weltevrede’s four acclaimed Cap Classiques – the Philip Jonker Brut Collection – each of which is produced under the expert guise of Philip Jonker. Each Cap Classique has been named after the spirit it embodies and ushers in, the life-force it emanates, the mood it catalyses, the symbolism it evokes, and, by extension, the response it inspires.
It is therefore indeed fitting that, as we approach the festive season, with which celebration is synonymous, you are invited to join Philip on an exploration into the personality of each of his acclaimed bubblies, as you decide who you are to welcome as an auspicious guest at your festive affair. Philip, the wordsmith, confesses that wine is indissolubly part of his make-up, pulsing through his veins: it is, he says, a love affair that ‘was birthed by his founding great-grandfather in 1912, before (he) was born’. He invites you to share in a taste of his experience: the enchantment that is his life. Come on, embark with him on a journey into the sublime world of wine and words: his passion and his art.
Entheos, a blend of 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir, is an exquisite blend of creaminess and vibrancy and is ideal for daily enjoyment. It is arguably the most obvious choice for inclusion at any festive celebration in that it is highly acclaimed – the 2010 4-Star Platter wine was awarded Best Non-Vintage Cap Classique at last year’s Wine Magazine Amorim Cap Classique Challenge and the recipient of the SAA Trophy for Best MCC served on the airline’s Premium Class for 2010/2011 – while, at the same time, easy-drinking and delicious. Philip reckons that Entheos is a ‘must have’ daily tipple and should have a ‘set place in the fridge’. Enjoy Entheos on its own or with oysters, sushi and most light canapés. It is also the most fitting to the festive theme in that, its very name, from the Greek root, denotes all that the festive season is meant to embrace: namely, enthusiasm, exuberance, joy and excitement. Entheos is widely available throughout the season at leading merchants nationally and retails for approximately R80.
The inaugural bubbly in the Weltevrede Philip Jonker Cap Classique Collection, The Ring, a 100% chardonnay Blanc de Blancs vintage Cap Classique originally called Philip Jonker Brut – was first produced twelve years ago, and was afforded the highest honour of being hailed overall winner at the 2005 Wine Magazine Amorim Cork Cap Classique Challenge. The Ring (current vintage 2007) denotes a tribute to friendship and commitment given that it demarcates a highly charged sentimental milestone signifying the covenant of marriage between Philip and ‘Cranemere-farm-girl’ Lindelize – the first cork of the bubbly was popped under a Karoo Oak tree where he wed his lovely barefoot bride. Two to three years on the lees, The Ring is ideally suited to salmon, oysters and flavourful canapés and retails for approximately R105.
Lindelize, released last year, is Philip’s latest addition to his range of gorgeous Cap Classiques: a rosé made from pinot noir. Named after Philip Jonker’s wife, Lindelize celebrates the first ‘butterflies’ one feels when falling in love. An excellent dessert wine, why not culminate feasting with fresh strawberries and cream or Turkish delight paired with the luscious Lindelize? A salmon-coloured Cap Classique with a delicate mousse; a yeasty nose with hints of cherries, strawberries and freshly picked rose petals; a slight peachiness on the palate with a lingering finish, this wine retails for approximately R99.
Aletheia – A 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay blend matured in French oak barrels before the second fermentation – Aletheia celebrates honesty, integrity and unpretentious living. During the festive season, when all the guests have left and the void remains where joy and joviality and love once dwelt, enjoy Aletheia with your beloved and revel in the freedom of not having to don a mask, but being loved for the primal soul within. Here, amidst the withdrawing grate of festivity and the sweet-sorrow of parting, you may stand with your beloved and be comforted, real … genuine. Aletheia is a rich, yeasty style of Cap Classique with flavours of orange peel, vanilla oak and cream permeating throughout. With a minimum of 3 years on the lees, Aletheia is a bold, complex vintage Cap Classique (current vintage 2006) and retails for approximately R135.
Philip suggests that all of the Cap Classiques in the Weltevrede Philip Jonker Brut Collection are ideal complements to a variety of delicious canapés, as well as hearty and eclectic culinary celebrations. The festive season provides every perfect excuse to sip on the so-fizz-tication of bubbles … with all the manifold experiences and emotions that come with reuniting of families and friends, festivity, intimacy and the sweet-sorrow of farewell… there is a time for every single one of these delightful bubblies in the Philip Jonker portfolio!
Klaas Jonker arrived in the lush utopia of Robertson in 1912, and was transfixed by the surrounding beauty. He bought the farm, planted the first vineyards and, in so doing, put down the roots that were to anchor the Jonker family legacy. And so began the love affair. Overwhelmed by a sense of contentment and inner joy; Klaas was wholly fulfilled. So satisfied was this pioneering patriarch, that he named the farm ‘Weltevrede’, meaning ‘well-satisfied’: an Afrikaans compound adjective, which encapsulates a highly evocative emotional state which the English equivalent cannot convey with the same visceral fervour.
Since then, this pursuit of well-being and satisfaction, or ‘weltevrede’, has translated into an aesthetic of producing wines of excellence, a heritage which has been passed on from generation to generation. Klaas was succeeded, in 1993, by his son, Japie. Today, the farming tradition is perpetuated by current owners, Lourens Jonker and his son, Philip, who is in the driving seat. Philip adds a touch of Wordsworth to the Weltevrede mix, with his winemaking proficiency rivalled only by his eloquence: “I grew up among the vines of Weltevrede. I played in the soil as a boy and so did my father and grandfather before me”, says Philip. He reveres the natural milieu and history, attributing much of the winery’s success to experience and familial connectedness to the ‘unique terroir’ with which Philip considers the Jonker family ‘blessed’.
Weltevrede and Chardonnay
Philip Jonker is a chardonnay specialist and, concomitantly, Weltevrede is synonymous with the production of fine wines of this particular varietal: boasting awards from Chardonnay du Monde, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, International Wine Challenge, International Wine and Spirit Challenge as well as several national shows (including Veritas Double Golds), to mention but a few of the illustrious competitions which have brought the winery acclaim. Fortunately, cellarmaster Philip, and winemaker Neil Strydom (an Elsenburg graduate), share a mutual passion for chardonnay and bubbly production. When Neil joined the team, over a year ago, he knew that, with four chardonnays – Place of Rocks, Rusted Soil, Poet’s Prayer and River’s Edge Unwooded Chardonnay – his future was carefully mapped out! Chardonnay is a salient feature across four of the five collections (ranges) in the Weltevrede stable – namely, Terroir, River’s Edge, the Philip Jonker Brut Collection and, perhaps the most notable, Poet’s Prayer, which spends 22 months in French Oak.
For more information contact Weltevrede 023 616 2141 or visit the website www.weltevrede.com