Diemersfontein

Diemersfontein

Winemaker:

Francois Roode

 

Diemersfontein has belonged to the Sonnenberg family since the early 1940s, when David's grandfather, Max, bought the 183 hectare farm. Max Sonnenberg, with his son Richard (Dick), was the co-founder of Woolworths South Africa and a Member of Parliament in the Jan Smuts Government. He and his family used Diemersfontein as a country retreat, and during the war years, Italian prisoners of war were housed in the farm cottages.

Richard took over the farm in the 1950s and became more involved in the farming operations. His wife Cecilia, a well known Cape Town actress and producer, was the co-founder of Maynardville Open Air Theatre, famous for its Shakespearian productions. The farm's association with the arts started with the strains of opera singing drifting up from the cottages housing the Italian prisoners.

The family tradition of being patrons and contributors to the arts has been followed by the present owners, David and Sue Sonnenberg and Sue, an artist and chorister, is involved with encouraging and sponsoring local artists, providing them with materials and a place to work. The first vineyards were planted by David's father in the 1970s, and in 2000 David built his own cellar and started producing award-winning estate wines.

Vineyard plantings include Shiraz, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and also the "lesser known" varietals Viognier, Barbera, Roobernet and Mouvedre. Diemersfontein's maiden vintage (2001) won the Paul Sauer Trophy for a wooded Pinotage at the SA Young Wine Show and from that first vintage, awards have continued to be received by the Estate for many of their wines. 

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