Delheim was one of the founding members of the Stellenbosch Wine Route in 1971, when owner ‘Spatz’ Sperling joined Frans Malan from Simonsig and Neil Joubert from Spier in formalising an organised network of wineries at which tourists could experience their products.
Today, the estate retains all its original charm – the family still own the property, and live there – and visiting the tasting room feels like a step back into those early days, in the best possible way. While many modern wineries have set up shop in steel & glass architectural marvels, the ‘Cellar Door’ at Delheim looks pretty much the same as it always has – facebrick walls, varnished pine tables and the signature cobwebbed window that marks the passage of time in the same way that the rings of a tree, do. A visit to Delheim is a reminder that wine is made on a farm, from grapes grown in a field – not an art-filled, air conditioned, glass box.
The wines are uncomplicated – but that isn’t to say that they don’t have great depth and maturation potential, but they’re honest. The choice of varietals also hark back to the early days of Stellenbosch – Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer for white, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage (also for Rosé), Shiraz and Merlot account for single varietal reds and blends, and a limited number of other varietals for the signature Edelspatz and Spatzendreck sweet wines and an experimental Cabernet Franc.
The Cellar Door team also seem to have been part of the family for an eternity – and as a result, the depth of their knowledge of the estate and its wines, is unparalleled. In keeping with the uncomplicated nature of things at Delheim, there are only two tasting options – 5 wines from across the range for R65 and a pre-booked Wine & Fynbos Cupcake Pairing for R120. There’s also a platter of cheese, olives, fruit, dolmades & pickled pumpkin, with bread, for R220 – though the Garden Restaurant is also definitely worth a visit for more substantial fare. Cellar tours are available Monday – Sunday at 10:30 at 14:30 at a cost of R65.
The Cellar Door is open 361 days a year from 09:00-17:00
Take a wander to the back of the tasting room and enjoy a trip back through history, with a display of the estate’s historic bottles and labels.