A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

supper theatre
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

MICHAEL GREEN’S WINE NOTES (article first published : 2003-07-26)

Hartenberg, the distinguished wine estate at Stellenbosch, is to some extent a memorial to Ken Mackenzie, the business man and philanthropist who died in Durban a few weeks ago.

Ken Mackenzie was always a man to perceive and seize an opportunity, which was how he built up a business and farming empire in Southern Africa and abroad. I knew him over a period of many years. His acumen was balanced by a total lack of pretension. He was direct in his manner and acute in his mind, an original character if ever there was one. And he was extraordinarily generous, giving literally millions of rands to good causes, especially in education.

It was typical of him to have bought the 100-hectare Hartenberg farm 17 years ago when, as far as I know, he had no experience or knowledge of wine farming. The place came on to the market when Gilbeys, the then owners, decided to rationalise their interests, and Ken Mackenzie cheerfully forked out the four million rands reputedly asked for the property. It is worth a bit more today!

Hartenberg has never looked back and today it is one of the Cape’s premium producers. It is now owned by a company called Hartenberg Holdings in which Ken’s daughters, Fiona Mackenzie and Tanya Browne, are the shareholders, and the winemaker is the highly regarded Carl Schultz, who has been there since 1994.

Six Hartenberg wines were presented at a recent tasting held at The Wine Domain shop at Westville. The presenter was Paddy Bomford, who is on the business side of the estate, with co-owner Fiona Mackenzie doing the pouring. Paddy Bomford gave some interesting insights into the rands and cents of wine production. It costs R80,000 to R100,000 per hectare to prepare land for the planting of vines. The cost of a tractor is about that of a Mercedes car, C class. Hartenberg’s output is 40,000 cases of wine a year, 60 percent red and 40 percent white, this because the soil of the estate favours red wine grapes.

Here are the Hartenberg wines tasted, with brief comments:

Sauvignon blanc 2002 vintage - crisp, dry, grassy, gooseberry tones.

Chardonnay 2001 - Fermented and matured in oak barrels. Strong lemon aroma and taste. Potent: 14,5 percent alcohol.

Pinotage 2001. A good example of pinotage in the modern style, plummy, jammy. Fine now but could improve in the bottle for another three or four years.

Merlot 2000. A lovely fruity smooth wine.

Shiraz 2000. This is Hartenberg’s flagship. Strong smoky aroma, tobacco, coffee, spice on the palate. Excellent.

Weisser Riesling 2001. Weisser is of course the same as Rhine Riesling and this is a good example of a type of wine that is somewhat neglected by the public. Unwooded, honey bouquet, spicy flavour, oily texture, would go well with mild curries or Thai food.

Hartenberg wines are not cheap but they offer value, especially the whites. Retail prices vary of course, but in Durban the whites are available at about R30 to R40 and the single-cultivar reds from about R65 upward.

If you are in the Cape, the estate is about 40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and offers very pleasant lunches, Monday to Saturday, Phone 021 865 2541. – Michael Green




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart