MEERLUST – TRULY SOMETHING TO LUST OVER!
The first owner of the property, a German immigrant named Henning Huising, recognised the beauty and potential of the farm and settled there in 1693. He named his new-found home "Meerlust", meaning "pleasure of the sea", as the manor house sits on a granite outcrop near False Bay, and in the warm summer months the vineyards are refreshed by ocean breezes and evening mists which roll in from the coast.
In 1756 a dynasty was founded when the Myburgh family moved in, as now, eight generations later, Hannes Myburough is at the helm, making wines with exceptional complexity and character only from grapes grown on the estate. These vines are hand-nurtured by the people who live and work on the farm.
The Estate is singularly rich in charm and history, and the entire Meerlust complex with its famous oak tree lined drive leading to the historic manor house, classical wine cellar, rose gardens, family cemetery, dovecote and bird sanctuary, was declared a national monument in 1987.
The estate is blessed with very particular soils. The sub-soils are predominantly clay, from an ancient alluvial deposit, while the topsoil and intermingling layers are of progressively weathered granite gravel, originating from majestic granite mountains thrust up by volcanic activity some 160 million years ago.
The varying composition of clay and granite allow each varietal to reach its full potential.Where the soils are richest in clay, Merlot thrives. These soils are also spiked with black laterite deposits known locally as "koffie klip", which further add to the distinction and quality of the wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are planted on well-drained, warmer, predominantly granite gravel soils, producing densely flavoured, characterful grapes. A small but carefully situated vineyard of Petit Verdot is planted on north-facing slopes.
Chardonnay is planted on well drained alluvial soils along the banks of the "Eerste" River, while Pinot Noir is planted on the most elevated, coolest part of the estate to create the pure expression of this variety.
Meerlust have been producing heir legendary Rubicon since 1984 – one of the world’s finest wines. It is always released at four years of age, and only made in years when the fruit is deemed to conform to the standards and character required to make this complex Bordeaux style wine.
"Alea iacta est. The die is cast," Julius Caesar is supposed to have said as he led his troops towards Rome in 49BC. The crucial border of the ancient capital was the Rubicon River, and the decision to cross it marked an irrevocable point in history. It would profoundly shift the course of Roman politics - there could be no turning back – and once Meerlust released their Rubicon, there was no turning back for South African wine!