Meerlust (meaning ‘pleasure of the sea’) has been in the Myburgh family hands since 1756. This beautiful estate is has it all, being blessed with attractive Cape Dutch architecture, beautiful vineyards & an enviable pedigree. It is a National Monument too, no less.
Meerlust was put on the map by Nico and Giorgio Dalla Cia’s 1975 Cabernet Sauvignon, with their top Bordeaux blend, Rubicon, following in 1980. It was winemaker Giorgio Dalla Cia who made most of the wines that gave this estate its reputation.
One of the unique things about Meerlust is that they operate more like a Bordeaux Chateau than a new world producer. A new world producer typically makes small quantities of their premium or reserve wines, thereby offering a smaller but wider range. Meerlust however make a lot of their flagship Bordeaux Blend, Rubicon. This means its more readily available to the wine public.
Rubicon was one of the first Bordeaux Blends ever produced in South Africa and ushered in, not only a significant internationally recognized new style of wine in South Africa, but one that was to become a benchmark of local red wine quality. It was one of only three Bordeaux’ style blends made in the Cape at the time. Rubicon itself was headed for iconic status, revered worldwide for its consistent, understated elegance and refinement. As a product of a family and farm with deep roots in the history of Cape wine, it was then, and remains today, the embodiment of the rich cultural heritage of South Africa’s 350-year-old wine industry. Many of South Africa’s flagship reds these days are Bordeaux Blends.
Rubicon takes its name after name after Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon river in Italy, after which Things Were Never The Same Again.
The Stellenbosch region has made Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends something of a local specialty, attracting the high-profile owners of Chateau Pichon Lalande in Pauillac to establish Glenelly, and since 1994, Pierre Lurton of Bordeaux’s famed Chateau Cheval Blanc, has acted as consultant and has helped produce a string of exceptional and acclaimed Bordeaux Blends at Morgenster Estate.
Today Rubicon, together with its select classic single-varietal stable mates Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, are found in over 30 markets, from New York to Beijing to Sydney.
Geographically speaking, Meerlust is situated 15 kilometres south of Stellenbosch, with the blue crescent of False Bay just five kilometres away, a unique location for the production of wines with exceptional complexity and character. In the summertime, ocean breezes and evening mists roll in from the coast to cool the vineyards. The grapes ripen slowly, thus achieving full, concentrated varietal aromas and flavours. The soil here is very much like that in Bordeaux, consisting of decomposed granite mixed with clay, and is ideal for growing grapes for fine wine.
Both time-honoured and modern techniques are applied to achieve the potential of the vineyards and soils, ensuring that each bottle bears the hallmark of Meerlust Estate wine. The wines are all made exclusively from grapes grown on the Estate.
Whilst the estate is steeped in history, the Myburghs are actively involved in forward-thinking projects, specifically engagement with the black economic empowerment movement. Since 2009, a programme has been in place to give long-standing farm workers meaningful involvement in the wine industry.
Meerlust is the oldest surviving grand farmhouse in the Stellenbosch district. The gabled white facade and historic Cape Dutch Manor House welcomes visitors from far and wide as they passed through the gates and along the palm and oak tree-lined drive. There is a feeling that can only be described as excited anticipation when visiting this majestic estate, a sense of having arrived at a significant and very special place that is magnified when seeing the of vineyards that flank the drive – that here grow the grapes of the prized Meerlust wines.
Buy Meerlust Estate wines directly on the Brave New World Wine Shop.