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Vergelegen launches first rosé wine


Vergelegen, the 321-year-old wine estate in Somerset West renowned for its award-winning

wines, has launched its very first rosé, just in time for summer enjoyment.


A lovely rose-gold colour, with a long, dewy aftertaste, the wine is named ‘Florence’ after

Florence, Lady Phillips, chatelaine of the glorious estate from 1917-1941.


The label on the curvaceous, blushing bottle has an equally feminine touch. It sports a sprig

of pale pink camellias, both buds and full blooms, referencing the estate’s status as the

home of one of only two International Camellia Gardens of Excellence in the Southern

Hemisphere.



Lady Phillips, a noted hostess and arts patron, acquired the estate when it had become

sadly neglected. It was described as “almost an uninhabitable ruin”.


Consulting with Percy Walgate, an architect of the Herbert Baker school, she transformed

Vergelegen over five years into a glorious architectural and horticultural treasure. She was

also instrumental in founding the Johannesburg Art Gallery and the Kirstenbosch National

Botanical Garden, among other heritage and horticultural destinations.

Under the new Vergelegen management of MD Wayne Coetzer, together with André van

Rensburg, long-established winemaker since 1998, the two developed the concept of

creating a wine that would be innovative and exciting for the grand old estate, and would

rival the best rosés in the world.



The grapes were selected from Vergelegen’s Stonepine vineyards (Malbec) and Rooiland

vineyards (Shiraz). They were hand-picked and whole bunch-pressed to limit colour and

phenolic extraction, says van Rensburg. (Chemical compounds that affect the taste, color

and mouthfeel of wine.) 


“The grapes were very carefully pressed until a recovery of around 500 L/ton. After that you

have to press too hard and the juice becomes too dark and phenolic.”


Van Rensburg also insisted on the grape juice being stored for 24 hours at 10˚C, which

lowered the colour phenolic content to reach the perfect hue. It was cold fermented and

stored for two weeks before stabilisation and bottling.



“The trick was to attain the perfect colour that would enhance the wine’s appeal, and

complement the pink colour of the camellia garden blooms,” notes Coetzer. “I call it ‘the first of the summer wine’, although it is suitable for all seasons and occasions, and is enjoyed by men and women.”


Florence rosé costs R120/bottle and is currently available only from the estate. It is ready for

drinking now and should be served well chilled at 8-10 °C.



Says Coetzer, “Fresh and fruity rosé wine is well-known for being incredibly food-friendly as

it pairs well with so many dishes. For the best enjoyment of this extraordinary wine, share it

with the ‘Florrie’ in your life. Cheers!”


To book a wine tasting or to purchase wine: Vergelegen Wine Tasting Centre is open

Monday-Sunday 09h00 -17h00. Last wine tastings at 16:30 (with last entry to the estate

16:00pm) Contact winetasting@vergelegen.co.za or call 021 847 2122.


Follow the conversation online:

Instagram: @vergelegen_wine_estate