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Darling Cellars makes history at the SA National Young Wine Show

Darling Cellars makes history at the SA National Young Wine Show
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Only days after a triumphant victory at the Swartland Young Wine Show, Darling Cellars went on to even greater glory when one of its wines was named South African White Blend Champion for 2015 at the national event. It’s the first time the double achievement has befallen Darling Cellars.

The celebrated producer also won the Trophy in the category for non-muscat, any White Cultivar Blend, Wooded.

Dating back to 1833, the SA Young Wine Awards is the country’s oldest and most respected wine competitions. The 2015 edition saw 2 163 young wines from producers across all regions in South Africa participate. The results were announced on Friday last week.

“This is an exceptionally proud moment for all of us,” said Darling Cellars chief winemaker Pieter-Niel Rossouw. “While it’s the first time Darling Cellars has been given the recognition as winner of both the national and overall category champion at the SA Young Wine Show, we’ve always believed in the quality of our wines.

“These accolades demonstrate our ability to produce refined wines that are recognised for their superiority at the highest level.”

The South African Young Wine Show is presented annually and gives winemakers the opportunity to showcase their best wines of the current vintage. Its mission is to judge the quality of wines that are still in their infancy and have some way to go before they are finally blended and bottled. In this way, the industry gives recognition to the production capabilities of a wine cellar.

The winning wine was the Darling Cellars blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, which was named Champion Dry White and Grand Champion for the Swartland region just over a week ago.

The vineyards that produced the wine are dry-land farmed bushvines located on a steep incline with a southerly aspect. The vine ages vary between four and 10 years; the soils are well drained and comprise mostly of weathered granite.

“The 2015 harvest conditions that produced these grapes were very mild,” says Rossouw. “In general, the grapes were in good condition and harvested in optimal condition. 

For this blend, the two cultivars were harvested separately, given skin contact overnight and racked the next day. Once the clear juice settled, fermentation began. A part of the wine spent the first half of fermentation in stainless steel tanks and the second half in 500-litre barrels of French oak. After fermentation the wine was stirred up. The balance of the wine was kept in stainless steel tanks. Both components were used for blending. 

The wine shows aromas and flavours of asparagus and gooseberry; wood is very perceptible on the nose. These characters follow through onto the palate with great balance between the wood tannin and wine structure. The wine has length and elegance on the palate.

While not available on the market yet, the wine is set to be part of the DC ultra premium range.

Darling Cellars was established in 1947 as the Mamreweg Co-operative. In 1996, the decision was made to address its image as a producer of bulk wine and the enterprise was renamed Darling Cellars. Substantial investment was made in equipping facilities with equipment for the specific production of quality wines.

Today, Darling Cellars is able to exercise complete control over every aspect of production and quality as a result of the bottling equipment being located on the premises along with its own laboratory. These are both made available for use by other producers.

The results of this investment are wines that reflect the soil, climate and aspect of the Darling region and the varieties the wines are made from. Its vineyards benefit from the cool and temperate West Coast climate and a multiple soil types. Some 95% of all its vineyards are farmed without irrigation (dry land) and grown as bush vines - as close to natural conditions as can be.

Darling Cellars produces a number of wine ranges – available countrywide - including the DC Premium, DC Reserve, DC Classic, Sweet Darling as well as limited releases.

The winners of the 2015 SA Young Wine Awards were unveiled at a gala dinner held at Augrabies, near Upington. The event was hosted by the Oranje Vaal Wine Region and Agri-Expo, which has been involved in this competition since its inception 183 years ago.

Darling Cellars is situated on the R315 at Mamre Weg Station. For more information, phone 022 492 2276, send email to or visit Follow Darling Cellars on Twitter @DarlingCellars, and Facebook.

 +27.224922276        +27.864651130
Mamre Station, R315, Darling 7345, South Africa