Lovers of fine Stellenbosch wines worldwide can now purchase the very best this celebrated wine region has to offer in one place, online and at cellar door prices. The Simon Wine Emporium, in association with Stellenbosch Wine Routes, is dedicated exclusively to labels that are Wine of Origin Stellenbosch – making it the first offering of its kind in South Africa.
The online wine emporium showcases 145 top wines from no fewer than 73 Stellenbosch Wine Routes member estates. The portfolio has been curated by an expert committee to reflect the gamut of the region’s wines and cultivars. Wine-lovers ordering online will pay no more than they would have on the estates themselves, and delivery will take place directly from the wine farms.
The wines on offer represent all five sub-routes of the Stellenbosch Winelands: Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Berg, Stellenbosch Valley, Helderberg and Bottelary Hills. Carefully considered tasting notes have been provided for each wine, as well as information on the wine estates and the various cultivars, and assistance with food pairing.
The list consists of cultivars including Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage and Shiraz, as well as red blends. It also incorporates the ‘old vine’ wines administered by the Old Vine Project, as well as a collection of iconic wines of the region.
For wine aficionados who prefer a particular cultivar but would like to compare the offerings of different wine estates, the panel has curated cases of six wines, from across the sub-routes of the Stellenbosch Winelands and in three price categories: laid back for everyday enjoyment, premium, and truly superior. Buyers can also put together their own six-bottle cases from the Simon Wine Emporium portfolio, consisting of a particular cultivar across the five sub-routes, or a mix of cultivars from different wine estates – at no extra cost.
There are also wines on promotion, available at prices specially negotiated between the Simon Wine Emporium team and the various winemakers. These wines are on offer for even lower than cellar door prices, for a limited time only.
In addition to the extensive Simon Wine Emporium portfolio, there are also rare, vintage wines on the list, most of which are unavailable elsewhere. These exceptional wines usually come straight from the cellars of the winemakers themselves and have been made available exclusively to Simon Wine Emporium clients.
Local wine-lovers who want to taste some of the excellent wines on sale, can visit the ‘home’ of the Simon Wine Emporium in the historic De Warenmarkt complex in Stellenbosch. Here, tastings curated according to cultivars or themes can be enjoyed, with sommeliers on hand to provide information and digital tasting notes.
In addition, tastings will be offered in the cellars of the winemakers themselves, and De Warenmarkt will continue to host the food-and-wine pairings which have become tremendously popular among foodies and wine aficionados alike. Patrons who wish to purchase wines at these events will be assisted in placing their orders online, again at cellar door prices.
The location of the emporium, on the corner of Van Ryneveld and Van Riebeeck streets in Stellenbosch, is especially significant. The Simon in its name is a nod to the town’s founding father, Simon van der Stel, while the 18th century building that is its home lies at the nexus of Stellenbosch’s vibrant cultural district. De Warenmarkt has long been the town’s favourite eatery and oyster bar, and now it’s also the showcase of wines from the Stellenbosch region.
Says Daniël Kriel, co-owner of De Warenmarkt: “It gives us great pleasure to introduce the one-of-a-kind Simon Wine Emporium experience – both online and at De Warenmarkt – to wine-lovers across the world. Whether you live in Cape Town or Cape Cod, you now have access to the best of Stellenbosch wines all in one place, just one click away.”
The Stellenbosch area boasts a winemaking tradition that stretches back to the mid-17th century, and De Warenmarkt has since its inception in 2015 supported Stellenbosch Wine of Origin. “We’ve always prided ourselves that we were the first eatery in South Africa to offer an ‘exclusively Stellenbosch’ wine list, featuring only the finest from the award-winning estates around our town.
“The Simon Wine Emporium is a natural progression of our association with Stellenbosch Wine Routes over many years,” says Daniël.
According to Mike Ratcliffe, Chairperson of Stellenbosch Wine Routes, the region’s official marketing body representing South Africa’s first wine route, Stellenbosch has a 50-year history of promoting local wines to established wine-lovers and potential newcomers alike.
“We are exceptionally proud of this latest milestone. The Simon Wine Emporium continues not only this tradition, but also the tradition of collaboration that has always been part of the success of Stellenbosch wine,” he says.
The Simon Wine Emporium at De Warenmarkt is open Monday to Saturday, from 11:00 to 18:00, and Sundays, 11:00 to 15:00. Share your visit to the emporium and tag @stellwineroute on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For more information, visit www.simonwineemporium.co.za or contact Stellenbosch Wine Routes on 021 886 4310.