Ernie Els Wines Newsletter – October 2016

25 Oct

All the latest releases, news and offers from the team at Ernie Els Wines.

1. Place your Christmas wine orders now!
Wrap-up the year in style with a special selection of Christmas gifts available exclusively to Ernie Els Wine Club members. It’s a present that delivers, quite literally, on many levels. You can have any of the wines from our portfolio delivered to the door of your family, friends or clients. And if you’re a member of the Ernie Els Wines Club, you get a 15 per cent discount on all wines, plus you’ll qualify for a host of other member benefits. To sign up, simply click here. Alternatively, email: or telephone 086 166 6286.

As we said, Ernie Els Wine club members are eligible for many exclusive benefits, including:

  • A 15 per cent discount on Cellar Door Prices on all wines.
  • Early access to new vintages and the option on older vintage releases.
  • Regular special wine offers.
  • Unlimited complimentary wine tasting at Ernie Els Wines for club member and one guest.
  • The option to send wine directly from Ernie Els Wines as a gift to family, friends or clients.
  • Invitations to local and countrywide tastings, dinners and events.

To sign up

2. Ernie Els Wines feature at Meridian trade showcases
Meridian Wine Merchants are a team of dedicated and enthusiastic wine professionals who are committed to the world-class portfolio of South African wines which they represent, Ernie Els Wines included. Every year Meridian graciously hosts its annual trade showcases in each of the major cities in South Africa and it is one of the highlights of many wine enthusiast’s calendar. Each of the estates within the portfolio exhibits their full range of wines and attendees then undertake the very serious business of making their way through the wide selection! The Ernie Els Wines stand was always a buzz with activity and some of the firm favourites were the Signature, Proprietors Blend and the Big Easy Red Blend.

The Johannesburg showcase was held in the Hyatt in Rosebank, the Durban Showcase at the Hilton Hotel, the Port Elizabeth showcase at the Boardwalk Casino and the Cape Town showcase at the Century City Conference Centre. Meridian pride themselves on their excellent service levels and aim to meet the needs of their customers at all times. Their innovation and creativity was put on show for all to see and all of the evenings across the country were a great success.

Jared Uys, Ernie Els Brand Ambassador, commented that “the opportunity to showcase our wines under the same roof with such a strong portfolio of wines is amazing. The amount of serious wine aficionados we had the chance to network with was resounding and the wines in our portfolio showed beautifully, as always”.

We would like to thank Meridian Wine Merchants for hosting us and for the privilege of being part of their portfolio. We are already looking forward to next year’s trade showcases.

3. Veritas success and the ‘golden thread’ in our portfolio
Over the past few months Ernie Els Wines has received several awards and ratings from high profile competitions. Looking into these ratings has been an interesting and reassuring exercise, not least in reminding us of our steadfastness in upholding the original vision for the winery, but also in helping us shape our portfolio and our plans for the future.

As many people will know, our first wine produced was the Ernie Els Signature 2000, which was followed by the Proprietors Blend and Big Easy Red in the late 2000s. These blends are where it all started and a great indication of winemaker Louis Strydom and his team’s ability to create outstanding red blends across the spectrum.

The last few months have been a wonderful re-affirmation that we have not lost sight of the initial vision, with all three of these blends being awarded at the highest level. The Signature 2013 was rated 93 points at the RISCURA Red Hot Wine Awards, placing it in the Top 3, and receiving 93 Points from Tim Atkin MW and a Gold at Vitis Vinifera. Meanwhile, the Proprietors Blend 2014 was rated 91 Points at the Laurium Capital Non-Bordeaux Wine Awards, placing it in the Top 10, and received 91 Points by Tim Atkin MW and was awarded ‘Rich and Voluptuous’ by the Sommeliers Selection.

Our most popular wine in the portfolio, the Big Easy Red 2015 is perhaps the wine we are most proud of, as it has been awarded a Double Gold at Veritas (one of just 38 Double Golds out of a total 1,760 entries) and was awarded ‘Elegant and Classy’ by the Sommeliers Selection.

Over the last few years we have further refined our focus to define a so-called ‘golden thread’ that runs through the portfolio. Louis has spent more than 25 years on the slopes of the Helderburg and has learnt that the terroir is ideally suited to premium Cabernet Sauvignon and thus has identified this as our ‘golden thread’. Currently we have seven different Cabernet Sauvignon clones in production on the estate and have plantings coming on line to increase that number to 11. With this kind of diversity of fruit at our disposal it is no surprise that Cabernet Sauvignon is the base for the Signature and Proprietors Blend and contributes 20 per cent to the Big Easy Red, with all of the wines mentioned above receiving widespread critical acclaim.

While it is comforting to know that the initial vision is still being executed as well as we have become accustomed to, it is also exciting to see that the refined vision of “Driving Cabernet” is being recognized by the same critics. Most recently the Ernie Els Cabernet Sauvignon received a Gold Medal at Veritas and was rated 91 Points by Tim Atkin MW and the Proprietors Cabernet Sauvignon was rated 93 Points by Tim Atkin MW.

This rounds off all of our wines with a Cabernet Sauvignon component receiving a highly regarded award or rating and we hope this will help you when in your wine selections!

4. Durban does us proud for our latest charity golf day
The second annual Hilton Durban Golf Cup raised more than R60 000 for The Ernie Els Centre for Autism South Africa. The day began with golf at the iconic Durban Country Club, a personal favourite of Ernie’s and where he won two of his five South African Open titles, followed by a dinner, prize giving and charity auction at the The Big Easy Winebar & Grill at Hilton Durban.

Despite some early morning showers, it was a superb days’ golf at Durban Country Club, with more than 50 golfers competing on this fine golf course for the Hilton Durban ‘Big Easy’ Golf Cup. Durban member Jason Bird used local knowledge to take first prize with an impressive 40 stablelford points, ahead of Hugh Inngs and Leon Buchner in second and third respectively.

The nearby Big Easy Winebar & Grill at Hilton Durban, which was officially opened by Ernie Els earlier this year, was then the perfect venue for the evening’s entertainment. The sumptuous dinner, accompanied naturally by wines from the Ernie Els Wines portfolio, proved to be a big hit. And the charity auction generated valuable funds that will help the Els for Autism team positively impact the lives of individuals and families on the spectrum. So, a great day all round. We send our sincere thanks to everyone who supported the event.

5. Painting the town orange with a market visit to the Netherlands
September and October have involved whirlwind adventures for Ernie Els Wines…specifically for our globetrotting International Marketing Manager, Louw Strydom. Our brand has touched base in no less than five countries over the past few weeks, with Canada and Ireland still to come. One of the highlights was our time spent in the Netherlands. Ernie Els Wines official importer Kaaps Wijnhuis planned a full itinerary and, after four days, over 200 people had tasted our wines or attended a wine dinner in and around the charming city of Amsterdam. Tastings and events were held at venues such as Hans Lemmens Golf Fitting Centre, Naarderbos Golf Course, de Beurs Eten & Drinken and Golf Klub Zeewolde.

“As always, our wines showed well and received countless compliments and praises,” said Louw Strydom. “The interest in the wines is spread right across our diverse portfolio, from our lifestyle Big Easy range all the way to the top tier Signature wine. I’d say the Proprietors Blend was the most popular of all, with its velvet-smooth texture, ripe fruit nose and captivating colour spectrum from the edge of the glass to the centre core.”

Netherlands is still a growing market but after little more than two years in the trade, we are already seeing a gradual growth in the presence of the brand and subsequent gains from a loyal and every expanding following. We are positive that in due course, the Netherlands can become a leading market in the EU for our wines. Watch this space!





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