Wine with heart: Awesome Ormonde, a Darling discovery

Wine with heart: Awesome Ormonde, a Darling discovery
Nicolette Waterford

Nicolette Waterford

It is so much fun to explore wine regions that are a bit further afield, like Darling. When in the Darling area, do not miss a visit to Ormonde Private Cellar as they have just announced a fabulous array of new vintage and maiden releases from their flagship Ormonde range. I love the elegant new wrap-around labels and the wines are excellent value for money. Ormonde is owned by the Basson family and their roots are deeply entrenched in Darling, with their ancestors dating back to the arrival of the French Huguenots in the 17th century.

After returning to Darling in 1970, Nico Basson, father of Theo, bought the farm Alexanderfontein and began a tremendously successful career in dairy farming. Thereafter, with encouragement from his Stellenbosch friends, Oom Nico planted vines in Darling, supplying grapes to Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery and various other cellars in the Boland. His sauvignon blanc, in particular, soon became widely acclaimed and highly sought after. Due to the success of this enterprise, Nico decided to expand and later purchased the Ormonde farm.
Theo Basson asserts that his father was “a pioneer and visionary who laid the foundation for Darling to become the prolific wine-producing region it is today”.

Theo has carried on in his father’s footsteps, continuing to develop the family farms. He owns two farms and manages the vineyards of two additional farms, as the next generation of Bassons “grow up” in the vineyards, learning the craft from a young age.
“We pride ourselves on our strictly limited, award-winning Ormonde range which is representative of our finest wines produced from the estate’s finest grapes.
This is a challenging statement for us to make and achieve, but such is our commitment to our Ormonde seal of approval. Each year, select parcels of grapes are earmarked for special attention in the vineyard and the cellar, and only the wines deemed outstanding carry our flagship label,” says Theo.

Ormonde Private Cellar’s flagship Ormonde range is only available from the estate in Darling. For purchases call the cellar on 022 492 3540, or send an email to Deliveries in South Africa cost R50 per case of 6 wines.
Ormonde Private Cellar’s attractive tasting facilities and homestead are situated in Darling. In fact, Mount Pleasant Street comes to a striking end at the estate’s impressive gates and the 400 hectares of vineyards spread out from there, rolling up into the hills behind the village.

Tasting and sales: Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Saturdays and public holidays: 9am to 3pm
Closed: Easter Friday, December 25 and 26 and January 1
Picnics: By appointment or bring your own
Vineyard tours: By appointment
Other facilities: Facilities for children and nature walks
GPS co-ordinates: S 33°22’20.2” E 18°21’23.6”