Elgin, South Africa
See Beaumont wines we sell
Beaumont in the Walker Bay area has been described as one of the most characterful wineries in the Cape. The small, rustic cellar is situated on the historic Compagnes Drift Farm in the village of Bot River at the foot of the Houwhoek Mountains. Its history goes back to the 1700s, when it was a trading outpost of the Dutch East India Company.
Raoul and Jayne Beaumont bought the property with its original cellar in 1973, and began making experimental wines in 1977. Their first "serious" wine, a Pinotage, was made in 1993 from grapes harvested in a 5-hectare vineyard with its 20-year-old vines. The success and quality of this wine prompted them to restore the antique cellar equipment, including an old press, in time for the 1994 harvest. Production will remain very limited, and only about 8,000 cases are produced in the cellar from 48 hectares of vineyards. Winemaker Niels Verburg, who trained at Elsenburg and has worked in France, Australia and Chile, was appointed in December 1995.
At Beaumont the focus traditionally has been on Chenin Blanc. "We have taken up the challenge to produce something special from this traditional South African white grape variety," say the Beaumonts. The grapes are carefully selected from six different vineyard sites and are picked at full ripeness to capture the best fruit flavors. Extended lees contact and judicious use of wood produce a full-bodied, well-rounded wine. The nose is predominantly tropical fruit, with some pears and melons. It can be expected that further maturation will show honeyed tones emerging from the rich, fruit-driven flavors.
Also produced from Chenin Blanc is the Beaumont Goutte d’Or, a rich and mouth-filling dessert wine made in an elegant and refined Sauterne style from hand-picked raisined bunches. This golden wine is matured in new oak and has an intense nose of dried and stewed fruits and a very long finish.