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Dornier Wine Estate

South Africa

With tradition dating back 350 years South Africa's wines blend new & old techniques

If the German name Dornier seems a bit familiar to you, it might be due to the fact that the famous Dornier bombers of World War II were made by the same family as our Dornier Donatus selection. In fact, wine has had a place in the Dornier Family for centuries, culminated by the efforts of noted artist Christoph Dornier, the current Dornier descendent and founder of the Dornier Wine Estate.

The estate itself dates back to 1694 and is comprised of 180 hectares (almost 445 acres) that were formerly fruit and cattle farms. The estate also features a Bodega Restaurant that is located in one of the area's oldest buildings, offering a remarkable dining experience in an exquisite setting. In 2010, a six-room homestead was opened in the historic Sir Hubert Baker property, complete with sitting rooms and extensive gardens that complimented the almost magical setting.

Raphael Dornier serves as the estate's managing director, continuing the Dornier Family's interest and investment in the wine estate and properties.

A Brief History of South African Wines

Picture of A Brief History of South African Wines

There is more to South Africa’s popularity ascent in world wine arenas than first meets the eye. True, the country’s release from the political entanglements of Apartheid provided a new stage for the country’s wine products, but the fact that many of South Africa’s existing wine products were already world class products in the opinion of many consumers was the overriding factor in the country’s rapid rise to world acceptance.

Remember that the core of South Africa’s winemaking colony was European-founded and based on classical wine techniques and practices. Also, its wines always fared well in international competitions during the era when the products were still politically unencumbered. Most of South Africa’s wine producers continued their established practices and were able to produce extremely high caliber wines, albeit to a much smaller international audience.

Now that all the problems are in the past, South African wines have returned to their former lofty levels of consumption and praise in an amazingly short period of time. As in a number of other wine-producing countries, new wineries have sprouted up throughout South Africa’s vast geographical areas to the delight of international consumers.

Many of these wines have captured top international scores and ratings, a difficult accomplishment even during the best of times. A number of the older properties have modernized and upgraded their wineries, infused by the world acceptance of their country’s suddenly popular wine products.

All these factors have contributed to the availability of many new South African wines that are delighting the tables of wine aficionados everywhere. Gold Medal is proud to introduce these new South African wines to you as part of our International Series. We trust you will enjoy these marvelous wines from amazing South Africa.

JC Steyn - Winemaker

Picture of JC Steyn - Winemaker

A graduate of the celebrated Stellenbosch University, Steyn holds a degree in Viticulture and Oenology. He apprenticed under noted South African winemaker Jean Vincent Ridon (Signal Hill Winery) and also worked in Turkey.

He joined Dornier Estate six years ago and has had significant work experience with additional South African wineries.

Stellenbosch Region

Picture of Stellenbosch Region

Centered on the historical town of Stellenbosch, the winemaking tradition stretches back to the end of the 17th- century. The mountainous terrain, excellent rainfall levels, deep well-drained soils and a great diversity of terroirs make this a truly successful viticultural area.

More than 160 wine estates and producers populate the Stellenbosch area including many of the most famous names in Cape wine. Stellenbosch, the ‘town of oaks,’ is the home to Stellenbosch University, the only university in South Africa which offers a degree in viticulture and oenology.

The famous Stellenbosch Wine Route, the oldest in the country and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Western Cape, is a must see for anyone truly interested in wine.