Hermanus Wine Stop—worth a gander…
Hermanus Pieters was a much loved teacher in the town that eventually became Hermanus named after him. He originally taught students on the farm Boontjieskraal in Caledon but headed down to the sea looking for water for his cattle and sheep, and found it in the famous fountain which still flows to this day. The town was first named Hermanuspietersfontein but gradually became what we know today—Hermanus—much easier for the tourists who flock there every year.
One of the most interesting of many wine farms in this area is the one called Hermanuspietersfontein, a home for fabulous wines, especially Sauvignon Blancs, some of which have quirky and memorable names. The grapes come from their farm at Sondagskloof. Their story is closely linked to sheep that have played a big role in it. Some of the fascinating names for the wines have stories of their own to tell, like:
1. Kat met die Houtbeen
The story about the cat with the wooden leg. Inspired by the Afrikaans song “Die kat kom weer … hy wou nie langer bly.” Their farm in Sondagskloof once upon a time suffered its own good fortune when one day a cat with a wooden leg arrived in their yard. Unannounced she made herself comfortable and became part of the yard-hold as it were.
Independently and undeterred she’d hobble around, chasing ducks who kept the vineyards free from snails while earning her daily bread catching mice and other delicious little farm rodents. The wine is a delicious Sauvignon Blanc.
The only single varietal in their red range —-the name was never a question. He is the black sheep in the family and that doesn’t bother him. Superb Cabernet Franc.
Current winemakers there are Kim Mc Farlane and Wilhelm Pienaar who are following brilliantly in the footsteps of the legendary Bartho Eksteen, who has gone off to fry other fish.
If you are there at the weekend, make time to go to their great weekend market which carries on 52 weeks a year come rain or shine.
Words: Greg Landman