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The background to Rivendell Wines
Heimo Thalhammer first visited South Africa as a student in the early Seventies and was inspired by the incredible beauty of the country. People say that once you have experienced the beautiful nature and scenery of South Africa, you will return within 4 years. It took him almost 30 years to come back, joined by his wife Maria. In 2002 Heimo & Maria bought their house in Hermanus and began exploring the area.
In 2005 they met Brandon Scorgie, an architect who would later become their partner in the wine farm they purchased.
When Heimo and Maria first arrived in the Botriver Valley, they fell in love with the area. It was here, at Rivendell, with its cool Walker Bay climate, in the shade of the Kogelberg mountain range and close to the sea and the lagoon that they decided to continue in the wine making tradition of Heimo’s great-grandparents, who owned vineyards in the early 20th century in the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy in Spodnja Štajerska, Slovenia.
And so the dream of a young student came to life more than 30 years later.
Situated on the Whale Route, at one with nature and its surrounds, Rivendell, like its wine, epitomizes harmony and tranquility, coupled with vibrancy and a spirit of adventure, whilst retaining a classic elegance. Situated en route to Hermanus, Rivendell is the ideal meeting place for family and friends to taste superb wine, enjoy breathtaking views or feast on the culinary delights of the Mediterranean-style Bistro.
The Bistro’s vibrant executive chef captures the diversity of the Overberg by providing fabulous food that will please the most decadent palate. She also considers the more delicate tastes of Rivendell’s younger clientele by offering some healthy options for toddler taste-buds.
Rivendell offers a variety of weekly specials, including a glass of wine in the price of the meal. This ensures the unique dining experience and a chance to taste the wines with a perfect food pairing.
We have also embarked on an “Around the world in 80 days-style culinary tour”. Guests get the chance to enter a competition by simply being part of the mailing list or follow the tour on Facebook or Twitter, and stand the change to win fabulous prizes if the correct country is guessed for the next week’s culinary visit. The scrumptious 3 – 4 course meal from that country as well as the music is played on that Sunday and a good time is had by all. Special evening detour options are also planned with Mardi gras dress-up, quiz evenings, as well as whiskey and food pairings planned to warm the hearts, souls and stimulate the brain for the cold winter months. The grand finale and Secret end destination will form part of the Spring day celebrations on the 1st of September and Rivendell will have a lot to offer the visitor on the Saturday. Follow the tour to guess the final destination and win the grand prize.
As Rivendell forms part of the Botriver Vineyard Association, the wines from the area features on a well balanced and well-priced wine list to enable guests to taste the stunning wines our beautiful area has to offer.
The farm is located at the intersection of the R43 (Cape Town to Hermanus) and the R44 to Kleinmond and is situated on a cool southern facing slope of the Limiet mountain range that forms part of the Kogelberg biosphere. The farm is nestled at the edge of the Botriver lagoon, approximately 10 km from the Atlantic Ocean. The Mediterranean climate and moderate rainfall ensures a slow ripening process and is ideal for the generation of cool climate grape flavors. The grapes are influenced by the unique maritime climate, the cool Atlantic Ocean breeze and the inimitable terroir of the farm.
The maiden vintages Sauvignon Blanc as well as Shiraz cultivars were harvested in 2011, and the grapes are entirely hand-picked. Harvest takes place between daybreak and mid-morning. Rivendell believes in producing wines of the finest quality. Only small volumes are bottled in quantities that will not overflow the market. Special attention is given to every vine planted to ensure that the wines are crafted to perfection.
Reductive winemaking techniques were applied to protect the sensitive Sauvignon Blanc flavors. The grapes were gently crushed, cooled and given a few hours of skin contact for more complexity. The settled must was cold fermented for 3 weeks, and weekly lees stirring (batonage) took place. Extended lees contact (five months), was given for improved mouth-feel. The wine was stabilized and filtered pre-bottling. 12,933 bottles of the Rivendell Sauvignon Blanc were bottled in September 2011 and the wine was released to the market in early October 2011. The Shiraz will be released early in 2013.
Our wine maker Kobie Viljoen from Gabriëlskloof released the technical analysis:
Alcohol: 13.0 %vol
RS: 2.1 g/l
Free So2: 35mg/l
Total So2: 104mg/l
Total Acidity: 7.0 g/l
Appellation: Bot River
The characteristics of the wine are:
The wine shows a light straw colour with a touch of green. Intense whiffs of tropical fruit and gooseberries come forward on the bouquet. The palate has a vibrant, racy entry following through to a mid-palate with medium weight and elegance, a mineral core and a nice lingering aftertaste. The wine will continue to age well for up to 3 years from vintage.
Rivendell Sauvignon Blanc is a very versatile wine that pairs extremely well with a variety of dishes. The wine is well suited with Goats cheese dishes baked or served fresh in a salad. The wine pairs extremely well with Seafood dishes, like Fish, Oysters, Prawns and Calamari – whether it be baked, grilled, steamed, fried or served as a soup. The addition of lime, coriander, light chilli and garlic when used in the preparation of fish, chicken or vegetables brings out the fruity fragrance of the wine.
The varietal’s propensity towards nuances of green herbs, cut grass or weeds in the aroma and flavour, make it a natural with dishes utilizing leafy green herbs (parsley, basil, chervil and cilantro) peppers (especially when roasted), olives, fennel, spinach, watercress, arugula, and most green leaf salad vegetables. The use of lemon, citrus, pomegranate, tomatoes and other acidic fruits emphasize Sauvignon Blanc’s zesty acidic qualities.
Some examples of excellent pairings are:
Spring green salad with Chèvre and citrus in a caramelized bell pepper vinaigrette; Fresh snapper ceviche with tequila, lime and roasted sweet peppers; Grilled marinated prawns with fresh melon salsa; Quenelles of lobster, scallops and leeks in a shitake shellfish consommé; Risotto of lobster and sea vegetables with English peas, wood-grilled Anaheim chilli stuffed with shrimp, mint and red pepper couscous or Spicy shrimp ravioli in a citrus achiote.
The wine is also paired as an interesting dessert wine with poached pears in vanilla syrup, served with thick cream, as well as lemon zest infused Belgium chocolate.
Rivendell is open to visitors 7 days per week from 08:00 – 17:00 for breakfast, lunch, wine tasting and sales. The Bistro is open on Friday evenings for bookings and offers the visitor an option of functions and weddings by arrangement.
+27 28 284 9185
+27 28 284 9597