Lifestyle / Food And Drink

Adriaan Roets
1 minute read
3 Jul 2018
11:33 am

Lock, stock and wine barrel: KWV’s The Mentors

Adriaan Roets

KMV winemaker Izelle van Blerk has created a mesmerising range of terroir-driven wines.

KWV winemaker Izele van Blerk.

KWV is in a unique position in terms of large-scale wine production, since it is able to source grapes for winemaking.

One of their premium ranges, The Mentors, is especially unique. Launched in 2006, The Mentors range is built around a philosophy of expressing terroir and pioneering new wines and winemaking techniques.

So much so, that different wines are bottled praise for specific winemaking regions and show off the expertise of winemaker Izelle van Blerk. Van Blerk has created a mesmerising range of terroir-driven wines.

The range includes eight wines: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Noir, Petit Verdot, Pinotage, Orchestra and Canvas. For Van Blerk, it’s important that each year the vineyards provide the inspiration for each vintage.

“It’s incredibly important to spend time in the vineyard. I visit each vineyard block at least three times during harvest to taste the grapes and make sure we harvest the right rows at the right time,” she says.

“In the first few weeks of January, you won’t see me in the winery, only in the vineyards.”

One of her favourites is The Mentors Grenache Blanc. The 2011 vintage was planted on granite-based soils in Paarl.

The creamy wine was inoculated with a yeast strain selected from Rhône Valley in France. Halfway through fermentation, a portion was transferred to barrels. And this helped create a refreshing with a variety of flavours and aromas like orange peel, mandarin and apples.

The Chenin Blanc is great with chicken curry pasticcio, but really it’s the sort of wine to enjoy on its own.

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