About Our Wine
In 2006, the Entwistle Family purchased the 45 Ha farm in the historic Bovlei valley, ten minutes from the town of Wellington, and under an hour’s drive from Cape Town and re-established the winemaking tradition that started there back in 1699.
The Entwistles christened the farm Val du Charron as a tribute to the rich history and culture of the area. Val du Charron means Valley of the Wagonmakers. This was the original name of the Wellington valley. The French influence stems from the Huguenots who settled in the area in the early 1700’s while the reference to wagon making refers to the fact that Wellington was the last town where the Afrikaner’s ox wagons could be serviced before heading over the majestic Bainskloof in to the hinterland.
In 2012, Val du Charron itself became an Estate label i.e. all wines under the Val du Charron labels are bottled, produced and come from vines grown on the farm itself; thus giving a pure expression of the terroir to be found on Val du Charron’s southerly facing slopes.
Val du Charron is one of the most beautiful farms set against the hills in the Bovlei valley. Not only does the sheer beauty astound, but also the huge potential of our natural resources -all the vineyards are on southerly facing slopes, we have rich soils and a whole bouquet of 15 different varietals. Our single varietal reserve collection is a true expression of the fruit of our warm climate while the blends are a unique tributes to the complexity and finesse that a combination of cultivars bring –a true spirit of place.
Our Winemaker – Juhan Hunlun
27 year old Juan brings with him, a passion and drive to see Val du Charron to new heights. Always ready for a new challenge and eager to get his hands dirty, Juhan is truly a breath of fresh air. He has a level head on his shoulders and enjoys being innovative and working with a team to achieve success. His bubbly personality and humility makes our everyday activities a pleasure while behind the scenes he is using his technical knowledge gleaned locally and abroad to create outstanding wines not only in the cellar but starting in the vineyard.
WHY DID I BECOME A WINEMAKER
The Greeks said: “Eat, drink and be merry”. Well, I never felt any inclination towards becoming either a chef or a comedian, so that left booze.
Becoming a winemaker was truly a childhood dream. Having been brought up on a fruit farm in a small rural community in Montagu and practically growing up in the distillery were my father was crafting brandy led to the passion that I have for farming and winemaking.
Winemaking is everything you dreamed it would be – and more. You get to see the world, taste endless amounts of wine, meet a lot of new people from all over the world, and then just to keep you humble you get to do a little bit of admin. Winemaking is a lifestyle and you cannot compare it to a 9-5 work as we spend excessive amount of time in the cellar and in the vineyards trying to keep up with the ever changing elements king .But there is nothing else in the world that I would rather do then to make wine as this is my passion and building on my knowledge and pushing the boundaries to produce the best wine in the world will always be my goal.
Precision and endurance.
My motto in life is: your mind set determines your success. And this is the way I pursue winemaking. I believe that every step in the winemaking process plays a big role in how a wine is formed. By giving that extra bit of attention at every step truly takes a wine from good to great.
Making wine is truly an art if you get to understand the natural elements that go into it i.e the grapes. The grapes are where your wines aroma and flavour will come from.
You can manipulate a grapevine to give you the perfect fruit through smart viticulture practices and canopy management but you can’t take bad quality grapes and turn them into a masterpiece.
I always try to get the basics right before trying to be “fancy”, first look after your vine and make sure your grapes are healthy and taken care of. This is most important as it is the condition of the grapes will decide what winemaking methods you can use. For example, grapes with rot will limit your capabilities in the cellar where even your most basic winemaking methods will give you an unacceptable level of microbial spoilage where, if you were working with healthy grapes, there would be no limits as to what you could do by applying every bit of your knowledge to make the best wine possible.
I don’t contain myself to the vineyards or the cellar as a lot of winemakers do. For me winemaking is all being out there in the vineyards and the cellar, sculpting the fruit of the grapevine into a wine that not only reflects nature itself but me as an artist.
Humility, flexibility and precision:
Making the perfect wine is much more then crushing and fermenting grapes. It takes a great team of workers a lot of hours and hard work to produce the perfect wine.
Training and sharing knowledge is fundamental to leading a team, especially when it comes to doing specific work that needs precision.
Summary of Plantings
|Hectares under vine||21.3|
|Number of varietals||16|
|Main plantings||Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay|
|Cellar capacity||400 ton|
|Red & White Varietal Split||60% red | 40% white|
Val du Charron Reserve Collection
Theatre of Wine
|Four White Legs
Buy Our Wine Online
2011: Michelangelo International Wine Awards – Black Countess 2010 – Gold
2013: South African Premier Business Awards – Finalist – Exporter of the Year
2013: Top 100 SA Wines – Chardonnay 2012 – Top 100 and Best Value Wine
2013: Decanter World wine Awards – Chardonnay 2012 and Four White Legs 2012 – Commended
2013: Old Mutual Trophy Wine – Four White Legs 2012- Silver
2013: Michelangelo International Wine Awards – Erasmus 2011 – Silver
2013: Michelangelo International Wine Awards – Chardonnay 2012 – Gran d’Or
2013: Veritas Awards – Black Countess 2011 – Bronze
2014: Veritas Awards – Shiraz 2012 – Silver
2014: IWSC – Black Countess 2011 – Bronze
2015: Drinks international – The Theatre of Wine – Most Innovative Tourism Experience in the World
2016: Cape White Blend Challenge – 91 points – Four White Legs 2015
2016: HKIWSC – Black Countess 2013 – Gold – Syrah 2013 – Silver – Pinot Gris 2014 – Bronze
2017: Veritas – Pinot Gris 2017 – Bronze