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BOSCHENDAL DIARIES: JACQUES OF ALL TRADES, CELLAR MASTER OF WINE

Written by Boschendal

In spite of the challenges 2020 presented in the wine industry, 2021 at Boschendal dawned with brighter mornings and positive attitudes, and Jacques Viljoen, our multiple award-winning Cellar Master is buoyant. “I can honestly say that from a successful harvest point of view, we were truly blessed. If I had to describe a textbook vintage with long hang time and optimal ripening conditions this would be it, combined with perfect timing and respect for the fruit.” 

With an exceptional winemaking heritage of close to 300 years, it comes as no surprise that the big reveal of our Boschendal Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon was a highly anticipated event among aficionados, oenophiles and anyone who appreciates a stellar Cab Sauv. 

This launch has highlighted the premium Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards that I work with. I’ve had a taste with two of our premium Cabernet vineyards in the cellar – small bunches and small berries, with sunny fruit elements that complement the classic complexity and discernible notes of cherry and blackcurrant. Undoubtedly, it’s a blockbuster year for premium Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals.” 

Jacques is responsible for maintaining the consistency and style of the wine and joined the Boschendal team in 2018 after almost two decades at Zevenwacht. With an exceptional CV, a wealth of wine-making experience and a string of prestigious accolades in hand, he is expert at merging traditional and modern techniques, a skill that references his time spent working with highly respected winemakers in France. 

As always, success comes down to teamwork and of his associates, Jacques is effusive. “The three of us have similar mindsets and goals, are driven by passion and focused on attention to detail, and we liaise often.” Jacques is the red winemaker, while Danielle Jacobs creates the MCC and Michael Langenhoven is the white winemaker. “Boschendal’s multiple award winning white and Cap Classique wines are an equally important part of our heritage and future, recognised as integral and a much-loved part of the offering.” 

There is a thread that runs through the Boschendal DNA across the board: an unwavering commitment for achievement at the highest level without compromising on ecological integrity. This remains true of our wine making processes and the trio balances older methodologies with modern innovations. The end result is a sublime collection of wines that are classic, elegant with a good mouthfeel, and where the alcohol does not dominate. 

Rounding off the conversation about the 2021 harvest, Jacques offers sage advice, almost like a note to self. “Be patient and play the (vintage) game in slow motion. Ensure that you always make informed, correct picking decisions to the best of your knowledge and ability and you will be blessed handsomely with truly amazing wines.” 

The brilliance of the Boschendal Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon is a fait accompli. Salut to that!

"Be patient and play the (vintage) game in slow motion. Ensure that you always make informed, correct picking decisions to the best of your knowledge and ability and you will be blessed handsomely with truly amazing wines.” .

Jacques Viljoen

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