Enjoying an excellent multicourse meal, along with an abundance of even better wine, is occasionally a journalist’s duty. And as an objective and well-researched wine recommendation is a thing to take seriously, the FM felt compelled recently to give it a good go as far as Stellenbosch wine estate Neethlingshof’s outputs are concerned. At fancy Joburg steak house Marble Restaurant, nogal. The Neethlingshof label, which was sold during the unbundling of Distell’s Lusan Premium Wine business (a joint venture with German financier Hans Schreiber), is now in the hands of one family, the Schreibers. It also owns the Hill&Dale brand.

There is, of course, something very comforting about knowing that there’s a family entirely invested in a product — giving the brand its all to ensure success. And you get that feeling about Neethlingshof now that it has gone it alone. Wine maker De Wet Viljoen talks about the estate’s varietals as if they are his children. He gets that proud twinkle in...

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