Wine with heart – By Nicolette Waterford

Having grown up on a wine farm, my earliest memories are of vineyards and wine. It is therefore very fitting that I now make my living in the wine industry, little wonder my five-year-old son tells people his mother drinks wine for a living.

I look forward to sharing some of my favourite wines with you. Hopefully, together we can discover the best of the bunch.

Seeing that the month of love is upon us I thought it fitting to share a wine with heart with you: ‘Thunderchild’. I love the label and I love the wine (a complex and luscious blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 37% Merlot & 26% Cabernet Sauvignon), but what touched my heart is the story behind this wine.

Every cent of the profits made from the sale of Thunderchild goes toward the The Herberg Children’s Home in Robertson that was established in 1918 after the flu-epidemic.   Today Herberg is “home” to 122 children ranging from babies to 18 year olds.  These children have all been removed from their parent’s care by means of a children’s court order, because their home circumstances are characterised by a variety of social problems. That is where the name “Thunderchild” comes from – it refers to the ability of Herberg’s children to break through the dark & threatening thunderclouds in their past and shine through in the end, on their way to a bright and happy future.

The five-hectare vineyard from which the wine is made is located next to the Home and was planted in 2003. The 2008 vintage that is on sale now was the first wine to be made form this vineyard. The project is being supported by the local community and contributions in the form of fertilizer, soil preparation; plant material, irrigation and trellising, as well as labour and money were made available to launch the project without any costs for the children’s home.

But more about the wine, it was made in an age-old winemaking technique by the excellent winemaking team at Springfield Estate in Robertson.

Berries were fermented whole with native or wild yeasts from the grapes and no finings or filtration took place, resulting in an incredibly elegant, yet complex blend.  The wine was matured in French oak barrels for 12 months and sells for R65 per bottle from all the wineries in and around Robertson as well as selected restaurants in Cape Town. If you own a restaurant or wine shop, please consider selling this wine as your good deed for the year. Go on, have a heart and besides the wine is really good.

Income from this wine will benefit Herberg so that it will be possible to cater optimally for the all encompassing care needs of every child.

Visit the website or contact / or call them on 023 626 3661.

I leave you with the following wine thought: It is a leap year, which means 2012 gives us all a very special gift: an extra day to drink more wine!