I am constantly in awe the settlers, like the widow Cloete, who braved inhospitable conditions way back when to venture into the interior of the Western Cape region. Apparently some time between 1696 and 1704 the then governor of the Cape left a Riebeek Valley farm to this widow. The story goes that after returning from a trip to Stellenbosch for supplies, they found the house and farm destroyed by fire and renamed it Allesverloren.
In 1872 one Daniël Francois Malan bought the estate. At the time the farm was used to grow wheat, but the new owner decided to try wine. Five generations later, the Malan family is still producing excellent port and robust red wines, and current winemaker Danie Malan continues the tradition of winning awards and accolades. In fact, Danie’s grandfather won awards – the General Smuts Trophy in the SAChampionship Young Wine Show – for the Allesverloren Port in 1956 and 1957.
At the time Allesverloren was producing for KWV. It was only in 1974 that their first own label vintage – a red blend – was produced.
A visit to the estate is a must for tasting and buying of their range, which includes Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, Tinta Barocca and Touriga Nacional (both crafted from Portuguese port varietals), as well as their flagship Fine Old Vintage port and Danie’s Backyard Blend.
I am fascinated by wine names and labels, so had to ask about the Backyard Blend. The blend itself can change from year to year, Juanita Malan (Danie’s wife) told me; it all depends on what’s available, hence the name. Juanita says it was first produced at a request from one of their Norwegian wine agents.
Tasting times and buying details can be found here but we also recommend making a weekend of it, particularly the weekend of 4 May, when the annual Riebeek Olive Festival is happening. Allesverloren is one of eight hosting estates, and along with their own wine, will have wines from Org de Rac (organic), Theuniskraal, Tukulu and La Bonheur. There will be a food and wine market on the estate, including the region’s second favourite ‘export’, olives.
Besides the participating estates, Riebeek Kasteel itself will host entertainment, wine and olive tasting, food and more – and all the wonderful shops and galleries in this quaint town will be open, of course! A full programme of events can be downloaded here or contact the folks over at Riebeek Valley Tourism for more info.
It is set to be a fantastic day of food, wine and general merriment.
022 461 2320
R311, off the R46 between Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West