2018 is definitely a red letter year for the legendary Nel family of Calitzdorp. Owner and cellar master, Carel Nel will be starting his 40th vintage at Boplaas – backed by an excellent team, including his daughters, Margaux who did her MSc in Viticulture and Oenology, and Rozanne, marketing manager since 2005.
Words and image by Greg Landman
During this time Boplaas has garnered a string of accolades under Carel’s sure hand, winning the SA Champion Port Trophy ten times, the SA Champion Sauvignon Blanc twice and also the SA Champion Red Blend at the SA
Young Wine Show. Other awards include 25 Double Gold awards at Veritas and 18 Platter’s Five Star awards, as well as numerous accolades at the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.
To crown it all, Boplaas Port has been rated Best SA Port at the CAPPA Challenge five times since 2011 and they are the only South African cellar to have won Platter’s Five Stars for Port, Brandy and White Muscadel.
Carel became a member of the prestigious Cape Wine Makers Guild in 1988 and was the first chairperson of the South African Port Producers Association (CAPPA), which was founded in 1993. He was also chairman of the Klein Karoo Wine Show for 14 years and received his Cape Wine Masters Diploma in 1993. His thesis was on the comparison between South African and Portuguese ports. The annual Calitzdorp Port Festival was started under his guidance.
His latest ventures are the specialisation in red and white table wines made from Portuguese cultivars and, together with his son, Daniel, producing craft-style distilled spirits including brandy, whisky, gin and vodka.
Congratulations indeed on staying the course so magnificently!