The Story of TEMPEL Wines, Paarl – South Africa

Tempel Wines is a boutique wine estate on the Berg River in Northern Paarl, South Africa, set against a spectacular backdrop of the Paarl mountains, where the originally Belgian owner Tom Heeremans, has created an oasis for wine lovers in the heart of wine valley. They produce tiny quantities of 5 high-quality, hand crafted exquisite red wines.

The story of TEMPEL WINES derives from the Cape Dutch style cottage on the estate– built in 1784, it was initially known in the community as the Jooden Tempel. In the 20th century, the farm started producing the wines that we love today.  It’s a boutique wine estate on the Berg River in Northern Paarl, South Africa, set against a spectacular backdrop of the Paarl mountains, where the originally Belgian owner Tom Heeremans, has created an oasis for wine lovers in the heart of wine valley.

Previously known for Pinotage, their world-class vintners have since shifted their attention to Mediterranean cultivars, including Cinsaut, Shiraz, Grenache, Mouvèdre, and Tempranillo. Today they have a stunning selection of 5 big beautiful red wines on offer, each of them infused with the unique character of the region.

The beautiful estate also plays host to a modern B&B, with four rooms available for those wishing to extend their stay. The splendid setting boasts picturesque views of Paarl Mountain and the Berg River, allowing for a pastoral experience in a truly unique location.

Tempel Wines is home to high-quality, hand-crafted wines. The wines are characterised by a distinctive, lower in alcohol style (13-13,5%), making for an enjoyable, lighter drinking experience.

The Tempel wines philosophy is to let the grapes do the talking – they create hand crafted modern wines that reflect the character and soul of the region. As 80% of their wines are made on the field, they take great care to select only the best cultivars and rootstocks given the climatological circumstances and different soils at their vineyards.

They try and keep farming as natural as possible to maintain the best quality in the end products. All the grapes are handpicked and naturally fermented in traditional open tanks. After pressing, they are matured in French oak barrels and/or concrete eggs for minimum 12 months and then bottled on the estate.

The cellar at Tempel Wines is a unique experience in itself – besides being filled with amazing wines, the walls of the cellar also boast authentic art from some of the finest South African street artists. Visitors can enjoy a view of the exceptional cellar from the beautiful breezy terrace – with a glass of one of their incredible wines in hand, of course!


The vineyard management is all about sustainability. They deliberately attract a diverse range of insects to the land to help avoid the use of pesticides. They also grow organic vegetables to give to the local community and the soup kitchens, fulfilling their aim of social responsibility.

The Story of Altùris Winery – in the Friuli Borderlands

“Altùris” in the Friulan language means a piece of land lying slightly above the surrounding countryside. To brothers Marco and Massimo Zorzettig, heirs to a robust wine tradition that has continued for three generations, it seemed the perfect name to give to their estate.

Altùris is located in Friuli, north-east of Italy, not far from Venice and close to the country’s borders with Austria and Slovenia. Here the microclimate is unique… the Julian Alps protect the area from cold northerly air currents, while breezes blowing up from the Adriatic Sea are mild and beneficial, creating the ideal conditions for producing great wines from quality grapes.

The wine cellar is located in the foothills close to Cividale del Friuli – the ancient Roman Forum Julii – a small beautiful medieval town, Unesco World Heritage Site. The 25 hectares of vineyards stretch over a complex mix of flat and hilly land.

Altùris produces about 250,000 bottles annually of which whites dominate the production (70%) with a smaller proportion of reds (30%), reflecting the history and vocation of the wine production of FRIULI that is absolutely in Italy one of the best areas for high quality whites nonetheless also the reds are excellent and represent the territory extremely well.

The estate’s philosophy, which counts on a well-established young, close-working team is to continue, in both vineyard and cellar without losing sight of the family’s traditions and guaranteeing a high quality product with its own personality at the right price for everyday pleasure!

The wines score consistently highly with leading wine critics Robert Parker, Monica Larner and Luca Maroni including an incredible 96 Points for the Altùris Cabernet Sauvignon, also awarded 3rd BEST RED WINE OF ITALY in the Yearbook of Best Italian Wines 2019 by Luca Maroni.

The Story of Vallepicciola Winery – Tuscany

Vallepicciola is located on the eastern side of Castelnuovo Berardenga, in the province of Siena, in Tuscany. Owned by the Bolfo family, it has 24 full-time employees, coordinated by CEO Alberto Colombo. The history of Vallepicciola began in 1999, when the businessman Bruno Bolfo and his sister Giuseppina, originally from Liguria, decided to renovate an old nunnery, abandoned for decades, which was located near their country house in Pievasciata, a small village close to Castelnuovo Berardenga, a few kilometers from Siena. Today the convent is the wonderful 5-star Hotel Le Fontanelle that attracts tourists from all over the world, thanks to a unique, elegant structure and a special attention to every detail. The Vallepicciola farm was born near the hotel, which today produces 12 wines using only its own grapes, as well as vin santo, grappa and olive oil.The consultant winemaker is Riccardo Cotarella, while the cellar manager is Erasmo Mazzone. Guardian of the vineyards, as an agronomist, is Francesco Beni. The estate is set amongst woods, vines and olive trees and enjoys a mild microclimate, the ideal conditions for wine production.  With a major presence of the king of the Tuscan vines, Sangiovese, intended mainly for the production of Chianti Classico, but also  international varieties, such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Chardonnay, used for IGT Toscana wines.Spread over the hilly areas to the left of the Arbia river, the vineyards were selected and planted following and supporting the composition of the soils and areas, in which amalgamations of clay, limestone marl, bluish marl, tuff, sandstone and sand alternate. The great variability of the soils gives richness, elegance and uniqueness to the wines that come to life in Vallepicciola. The company philosophy is in fact closely linked to its terroir: the principle is that the wines must be a unique expression of their land, climate and work done in the vineyard, and that the vineyard management has to be carried on with a sustainable approach, to be bequeathed to future generations.

Environmental Sustainability

Year after year Vallepicciola is reducing both use of herbicides, with the aim of reaching zero in the next two years (2021-2022), and treatments in the vineyard, in order to preserve the environment and produce wines more healthy, genuine and tasty. Since 2017, with the help of Wine Research Team, managed by the oenologist Riccardo
Cotarella, and AGER, spin off of University of Milan, Vallepicciola has been pursuing a better and more scientific management of agricultural activities, all of which are within the field of precision agriculture, in order to make an important saving of water, energy and time. Thanks also to the new photovoltaic system located on the roof of the building, the winery today is largely energy self-sufficient.

The Story of Castello di Cigognola Winery, Lombardy, Oltrepò Pavese (OP)

Castello di Cigognola is a medieval castle and wine estate. Bought in 1982 by Gian Marco and Letizia Moratti and subsequently restored by them, their son Gabriele Moratti is now in charge of the winery. Alongside him is the winery CEO, Gian Matteo Baldi, whose impressive wine CV includes stints at famous Italian wineries such as Bertani, Feudi San Gregorio, and  Sella e Mosca.

The Moratti family has industrialist roots thanks to Angelo Moratti, who soccer fans may know of, as he was once the Inter Milan owner. Letizia is a former Mayor of Milan, and her side of the family had previously owned the Castello.

Winegrowing at the Castello dates back at least to the fourteenth century. Today, the estate has 30 hectares of organically farmed vines, at an altitude of 300-350 metres. 15 hectares are Pinot Nero, now making the DOCG sparkling wines. All the sparkling wine is branded as Moratti, while the still wine retains the Castello di Cigognola name. The intention is for each side to have a separate identity.


Sustainability is the watchword here. Organic viticulture and sustainable production – but also employing ethical business practice. For example, they are proud to empower the wine team to develop their energy, talents, and experiences. Metodo Classico has so many extra winemaking steps that such a philosophy encourages precision and continuous improvement.

The history of Weinrieder Winery, Austria

Weinrieder is an incredible producer based in the centre of the Weinviertel region of Austria in the village of Kleinhadersdorf. Owner and winemaker, Freidrich Rieder, and his family produce high quality wines with power and character. As well as having a great reputation as an Eiswein producer, they’re well known for their peppery Gruner Veltiners and racy, fully flavoured Rieslings; all of which consistently achieve marks of 90+. Weinrieder’s winery is located in one of the most significant wine-growing regions of Austria, where the micro-climate, rainfall, temperature and soil create perfect conditions for cultivating these fruit-driven whites.

With presence in some of the world’s best restaurants (The Fat Duck, Wolfgang Puck, Hollywood’s Starkoch Restaurant), as well as being awarded Gault Millau’s Wine of the Year in 2016, it’s no wonder the international press consider Weinrider to be the Best of Austria!

The history of Perlage Winery

The story of Perlage was born in 1985, when the 7 Nardi brothers, encouraged by their father Tiziano and mother Afra, decided to embark on a journey of discovery in converting to organic agriculture. The company started with the Riva Moretta vineyard in the heart of the Prosecco DOCG area.

Today Perlage is recognized worldwide as one of the first Italian Organic Sparkling Wineries, where the Nardi family continues to produce the finest Prosecco Valdobbiadene using both tradition and innovation.

The Perlage brand is synonymous with elegant and good quality organic wines, with good business practices and the passion of its people. It’s as respectful of its origins as it is of its future, following a path created by people, stories, the interweaving of vines and lives, buds and mature fruits, discoveries and rediscoveries, research and creativity. It’s the harmony of these elements that Perlage recreates in its organic prosecco wines, balancing the colour of purity, the aroma of tradition and the flavour of quality.

To feel closer, as if you were our guests here in the winery, join us on this virtual tour.

We will make a stop in the vineyard with Ivo Nardi, our Administrator. Then, we will visit the winery to discover the new technologies that support us in the production of our organic wines. To end with a toast, a glass of good wine rigorously organic!

Château la Coste, Aix-en-Provence

Château la Coste is located in Provence approximately 25 minutes by car from Aix en Provence, in the provencal village of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade in the middle of an exceptional 500-acre biodynamic vineyard. Very exclusive and chic, Chateau La Coste combines all the elements of the perfect French Art de Vivre: a unique artistic experience for the visitors in the quest of calm, luxury and sensuousness. Chateau La Coste is an unbelievable atypical art estate in a protected environment.

The uber exclusive A-List Celebrity frequented Villa La Coste is located high on the hill on the back of the domain—a unique heaven of peace and art composed of 28 villas suites.

The Domaine and Resort Hotel & Spa are owned by Irish (Belfast born) international hotelier, property investor and businessman Paddy McKillen, who also owns three of the finest hotels in the world – Claridges, The Connaught and The Berkeley. Paddy McKillen is also long time friend of U2’s Bono, who famously posted a super-selfie from Villa La Coste on his Instagram account, featuring A-List friends such as Chris Rock, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife Isla Fisher, as well as Madonna’s Manager Guy Oseary.

Adhering to biodynamic principles, Château la Coste strives to preserve the terroir, protecting its fertility, safeguarding the essence of the soil. The alchemy of blending lives on in a state of the art ‘cuverie’ designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and inaugurated with the grape harvest of 2008. This latest technology ensures the natural expression of the wine and brings new life to a long tradition.

In 2009 the wines were given the French organic label “AB” in recognition of the respect shown to the land along with the methods used which are in perfect harmony with nature.

Since 2008, the two vast contemporary buildings conceived by French architect Jean Nouvel have welcomed the grape harvest and housed the machinery and technical elements necessary for the ageing process of the wine as well as the bottling plant. Their spherical form and position in the vineyard recall the greenhouses and agricultural warehouses of old that can still be seen in farms across the southern regions of France.

Each building is 10 meters high and is made of corrugated aluminium. One, smaller in volume and open on one side, shelters the reception of the fruit, the manual sorting and three large grape pressers. The larger building, whose front facade is veiled by a series of sun-visors, opens its door to reveal the bottling plant and the stock of bottled wine. Seventeen meters below ground is found the vast, state of the art chamber containing the vats.

The central role of gravity along with other technological innovations enable a production of wine that is loyal to the specifics of the La Coste terroir. This exceptional work plays a major role in the architectural project of Château La Coste.

The wines include the perfect Provencal Rosé which is the Biodymanic Rosé d’Une Nuit   There is also an exquisite Champenoise Sparkling Rosé LA BULLE de La Coste Extra Brut Champenoise BIO made from 40 year old vines.  Their red Le Rouge 2016 BIO is a big, chunky fireside red blend of typival grapes from the region – Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The white wine Le Blanc 2018 BIO is a stunning bland of Viognier, Grenache and Chardonnay.


First established in 1948 by the first generation of the family. In the mid-seventies, maverick winemaker Roberto Anselmi was the 3rd generation of a winemaking family in the Soave region of Italy. On his gap year after University, he travelled the world to see how others were making wines and returned to Monteforte in Soave, full of great ideas about making very high quality wines in the family vineyard. To his horror, he found that his father had sold off all the land and become a huge commercial bottling plant.  At that point, he threw his father out of the business, bought back all the land and set out on his mission to create the best white wines in the Soave region.

In 1976 the Soave appellation was wildly popular, but known mostly for mass-production, inexpensive but low-quality wines. From the outset, the young winemaker was on a mission to revive the land where his grandfather and father had made wine before him. By the 1990s, he had abandoned traditional pergola training and converted his vineyards to Guyot and permanent cordon (cordone speronato) training. He experimented with pruning strategies and growing techniques to lower yields and deliver better quality fruit. In the cellar, he introduced temperature control and other modern technology such as a nitrogen press, to improve the quality of the wines.

After many years of lobbying the Soave Consortium to allow lower yields and better quality within the rules of the Appellation, they finally responded to say that they would allow only a 1-2% reduction in yield. So then in response in the year 2000, he did something unheard of at the time: In an open letter to the Soave Classico consortium, he famously wrote that he was quitting the association in order to be freed from their overly restrictive regulations. His peers thought he was crazy when he decided to leave the Soave consortium so as not to be constrained by restrictive bureaucracy, but history proved him right.

Today, Anselmi grows Garganega (the primary grape in Soave), Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay on roughly 70 hectares of vineyards in the Soave Classico appellation. The soils are mostly volcanic and limestone and the farming practices organic although not certified.

In Jancis Robinson’s World Atlas of wine, she features Anselmi in the Soave section and comments on his white wines  ‘They stand up to their peers in white burgundy at a fraction of the price’

Today the 4th generation, daughter Lisa and son Tommaso are taking up the reigns and running the winery together with their father.

Anselmi Winery

Anselmi Winery

Roberto Anselmi never attends commercial wine shows. Also, fittingly, for this rebel wine maker, he flies his own helicopter and rides a motorbike.

Roberto Anselmi HelicopterHe is in the exclusive club of the top white wine makers of Italy. Anselmi produces 3 white wines, 1 red wine and an exquisite ‘Passito’ sweet wine, which features in the book ‘1001 Wines To Try Before You Die’.  Two of his whites age in the bottle for 15 years. He produces one red wine – a Cabernet Sauvignon, that ages in the bottle for 30 years. He makes only 7,000 bottles of his REALDA red each year. Anselmi is on the wine menus of most Michelin Star restaurants in Italy, up to the three star Gods. In America and the UK Anselmi wines are in many Michelin Star venues.

More stories coming soon….

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