Winemaker Samuel Viljoen: challenged by Covid-19, but not beaten

– News Article

Nederburg winemaker Samuel Viljoen says he’s been keeping rather busy during lockdown. He’s utilised this period to learn, adapt, spend time with family, exercise, eat well, relax and rest. Read on to find out more.

How have you managed to handle the lockdown period, at home and in the cellar?

In the cellar, we’ve had to work really hard and smart to get the necessary Covid-19 protocols and systems in place to ensure safe and smooth operations. It’s been tough, but worth it! We’ve all learned the importance of having to adapt swiftly without losing focus. I’m truly proud of the team. They’ve all shown remarkable resilience and an amazing ability to stay positive and be flexible despite dealing with many uncertainties and complexities.

During the first part of lockdown that coincided with the Easter holiday period, I spent time at home alone with our cat, Sterretjie, while my wife and daughter were away for a few weeks at her parents’ home. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have them back home with me, but, working from home, it meant I too had to jump in and help out with my daughter’s schoolwork. Great fun, but exhausting! And I must admit, it’s good to get involved.

What have you been cooking up in the kitchen, and which red wines are you pairing with these dishes?

I started the lockdown with a box of apples to work my way through. So apple crumble and apple-inspired desserts were top-of-the-list for me. At one point, though, to keep my waistline in check, I switched to eating apples in their pure unprocessed form until the box was finished. When my wife and daughter returned home, and winter crept nearer, we rediscovered our slow cooker. Deliciously rich winter meat and vegetable stews are therefore regulars in our kitchen and make for a great partner to one of our favourite wines, Nederburg The Winemasters Shiraz.

When weather permits, we venture outside and prepare a good piece of steak on the braai – always a winner with another one of our preferred wines, Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Brew Master, a Bordeaux-style red blend. For me, living in Paarl, there’s nothing like sitting on my stoep after a busy day and watching the sun set over the Du Toitskloof Mountains while savouring a glass of good red wine.

What books have you read during lockdown or are still planning to read? Movies? Series?

Nederburg Winemaker reading a book with a glass of wineI enjoy Clive Cussler novels. I have about 43 of them! They’re the ideal escape from reality. I also enjoy movies starring Tom Cruise, and am currently following the series Wheeler Dealers and Car SOS (the only motor television programme that makes my wife cry).

Any other activities that have kept you and your family ‘sane’, stimulated and entertained during lockdown?

We taught my daughter to ride a bicycle without training wheels. This means we get some serious exercise as we accompany her on her cycling adventures. With the opening of the nature reserves, we’ll return to regular walks on Paarl Mountain. I believe nature has such a great impact on one’s psyche. We are truly lucky to have access to such a nature reserve with such beauty, so close to home.

Buy Samuel’s Winter Warmer Selection of Reds…

We are in the firm grip of winter, the perfect time of the year to curl up with a warm blanket next to a fire, read a book, watch a movie, and enjoy that special glass of red wine. Guess what? We’re making very convenient for you to stock up on some of Nederburg’s deliciously rich reds, carefully selected by Samuel.

The collection of wines, available at R935 via our online wine shop, includes two bottles each of:

  • Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Motorcycle Marvel 2017, a gently appealing five-way Rhône-style red blend displaying ample berry, black cherry and plum ripeness with dry spicy counterpoints.
  • Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Brew Master 2017, a complex Bordeaux-style red blend with understated nutty oak notes supporting plush, rounded blackberry fruit succulence and a rich spicy palate.
  • Nederburg The Winemasters Shiraz 2018, elegantly structured with a palate packed with plum, black cherry, a touch of leather, dried herbs, fynbos and some oreganum notes.

Please note that a delivery fee of R95 is applicable to all orders. Deliveries will only be dispatched once full payment is received and WHEN WE ARE LEGALLY ALLOWED TO DO SO (GIVEN THE REINSTATED ALCOHOL BAN IN SOUTH AFRICA). Our friendly team will keep you updated on your order. This special collection is available for purchase by those above the age of 18, until 31 August 2020. Terms and conditions apply.

Buy Nederburg wine online here