News and Events at Delheim

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Delheim gives flight to its very first Cabernet Franc

Delheim gives flight to its very first Cabernet Franc

Only a limited amount of Vaaldraai Cabernet Franc 2014 is available

Exceptional quality of fruit during the 2014 harvest has led Delheim wine estate to launch its first single variety Cabernet Franc wine. The Vaaldraai Cabernet Franc 2014 is a limited release named after the vineyard that gave it life, and is first available exclusively to members of the Delheim Wine Club.

Situated in the prominent ward of Simonsberg within the Stellenbosch region, Delheim is famous as the home of some of the area’s best vineyards with the Sperling family responsible for producing some of its most outstanding wines. Most recently, its Delheim Grand Reserve 2014 scored 94/100 in the 2017 South Africa Special Report by internationally acclaimed wine critic Tim Atkin, British Master of Wine (MW).

The Vaaldraai Cabernet Franc 2014 is a perfect example in this tradition of excellence and is the first of three new wines that Delheim’s owners have decided to give members of the club first dibs on.

The club is open to new members who will discover the truth in Delheim’s promise of being “Worth The Journey”. Members receive in addition to rare wine releases, a sign-up gift of wine; free delivery within SA; reward vouchers; complimentary tastings; an annual membership anniversary gift; and, preferential booking for events such as the Delheim Harvest Festival and popular Jazz and Cheese Fondue experiences.

The rare Delheim Vaaldraai Cabernet Franc 2014 emerges at a most opportune time. As a truly exceptional wine, it’s ideal as a special gift or ingredient to a memorable dinner during the coming festive season.

“The 2014 harvest of Cabernet Franc, which arrived at the end of a very wet season, was magnificent,” says winemaker Altus Treurnicht. “We usually deploy it for blends including our flagship Grand Reserve. It was so good however, that we decided to bottle it as a wine all by itself.”

Dark in colour with a red rim, the wine exudes flavours and aromas reminiscent of blackberries and dark chocolate with notes of tobacco and juicy cherries. “The palate is well structured with fine oak integration and a long finish,” says Altus. “Velvet-soft tannins linger on the palate.

“Stored properly, this wine will continue to mature for a decade.”

The Vaaldraai Cabernet Franc 2014 sells for R200 per bottle to Delheim Wine Club members only. If you purchase a case of six bottles, you receive a rebate of 20% to be used on your next Delheim wine order.

For more information about the Delheim Wine Club, visit

To sign up, send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 021 888 4600.

Keep up to date with Delheim on facebook ( and Twitter @Delheim or visit

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Celebration of Michael Hans "Spatz" Sperling

While the passing of our dear patriarch and pioneering icon of the South African wine industry has left us all deeply saddened, let us gather to celebrate, remember and enjoy the day as if Spatz is still with us.

His family invites all friends, those who knew Spatz, and wine industry colleagues to celebrate his life on Thursday, 19 October between 14h00 and 17h00. The event will take place at Delheim Estate, come rain or shine, with the official toast at 15h00.

Let us laugh, let us be filled with joy and gentle contemplation, and let us share stories of his indelible wine journey and legacy spanning more than six decades.

We would love you to share a Spatz story or favourite photo (on A4 format) with us which the family will treasure in a memory book.

As we have done for many years the family supports donations to Hospice and are grateful for their support at a time when we needed it most. If you wish to donate online, please see link:

The farm will be closed on this day to the general public.


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Delheim’s legendary Spatz Sperling passes away

Wine icon leaves indelible legacy spanning more than six decades

The Sperling family are sad to announce the passing of Michael Hans ‘Spatz’ Sperling, their much-loved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and patriarch of Delheim.

Since his arrival in South Africa as a 20-year-old from Germany in 1951 to join his uncle Hans Hoheisen and aunt Del, Spatz became a pioneering icon of the South African wine industry.

Over the next 60 years, Spatz grew this farm on the Simonsberg into one of the most enduringly popular and successful wine destinations, creating many firsts in the process. Among the most notable Delheim was the first farm to send out a newsletter and to serve cheese platters for lunch (first restaurant on a South African wine farm) - facilities today’s visitors to the Cape winelands take for granted. Spatz was ahead of the game too when it came to wines the consumer wanted. His first effort however was the famous Spatzendreck which has been loved by many since 1961. Heerenwijn, a light and dry white wine, was a first of its kind.  At the other end of the scale, in the 1970s, Spatz recognised growing demand for red wines, purchasing prime vineyard land on Klapmutskop, which he named Vera Cruz after his wife. Delheim’s flagship, the Cabernet-led Grand Reserve, first produced in 1981 and among the early Bordeaux-style blends, comes from these vineyards.


Over the years this family-run wine farm also became a microcosm of Spatz’s visionary work in the greater Stellenbosch community and the Cape Winelands as a whole. In the days when there were few privately owned farms, Spatz, Sydney Back of Backsberg and Frans Malan of Simonsig, founded the Cape Estate Wine Producers. Together they were also instrumental in transforming wine estate legislation which led to the 1973 Wine of Origin system. Spatz was, together with Frans Malan, and Neil Joubert of Spier, a founder member of the Stellenbosch Wine Route (using his persuasive charm to convince the authorities that traffic signboards should be allowed) and was involved with the founding of both the Stellenbosch Bottled Wine Show and Food and Wine Festival.

He had a passion for trees, especially fond of his pine forest and contributed to the South African Timber Growers Association as chairman.

The wine industry’s ultimate recognition of Spatz’s extraordinary contribution came in 2009, when he was honoured with the 350 Celebration Scroll in the year South Africa celebrated 350 years of winemaking.

Spatz’s unstoppable energy was matched by his larger-than-life personality and cheeky sense of humour; when Spatz arrived at a friend’s house, it was a party. He was also a ready and generous friend. ‘Our father will often be remembered in the wine industry as ‘the difficult German’, recall his two eldest children, Victor and Nora - ‘but he was not afraid of any challenge, even that of Parkinson’s disease of which he suffered during the latter years.’  

‘We are highly blessed to have had a father who we could share with so many people. In his honour please raise a glass of your favourite Delheim wine, share the moment and celebrate his journey with us – Prost!’

Spatz is survived by his wife Vera and children Victor, Nora, Maria, Nicholas and grandchildren Rudi, Karl, Gabriele, Michael, Louis and Renzo.

A private funeral service will take place in the Delheim cemetery. A celebration of Spatz’s life will be held at Delheim at a date to be announced.

The family is grateful to, and support donations to Hospice. 



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Adverse climate conditions have again put paid to a new release of the sought-after Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest, considered one of South Africa’s best dessert wines. This Rhine Riesling is an award-winning stalwart of the eco-conscious Stellenbosch estate’s portfolio that has not been realised for a second year running due to the influence of Mother Nature.

It is the first time since Delheim started producing the Edelspatz in 1979, that the wine has been absent for two consecutive years – an indication of both the severity of the drought and Delheim’s commitment to quality.


The making of a noble late harvest wine requires the natural occurrence of a vineyard fungus, Botrytis cinerea, that removes water from grapes and leads to the concentration of sugars and flavours. This desirable “noble rot” relies on wet and humid conditions, which have not been present due to drought across much of the Cape Winelands.

Delheim prides itself on crafting wine to the rhythm of nature as well as only making a wine when the conditions allow for the best. Grapes are not bought in. An assessment on the next vintage of Delheim Edelspatz will be made in May next year.

The Delheim Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest is traditionally made from a single 29-year-old vineyard that only yields around three tons of grapes per hectare. The last vintage, the sold-out 2015, achieved amongst other accolades, five stars in Platter’s South African Wine Guide.

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Delheim releases latest vintage of its flagship Grand Reserve


Latest vintage crowns Stellenbosch stalwart’s red wine portfolio

 Delheim Estate, nestled on the prime slopes of the Simonsberg, has released the latest vintage of its flagship bottling – a wine at the apex of the estate’s red wine portfolio: the Grand Reserve 2014.

Crafted vineyard-to-bottle with the specific intention of being the most exceptional expression of the harvest, the Delheim Grand Reserve is an eagerly anticipated red wine of the highest quality. Its name reflects the stature of this flagship wine in the estate’s highly awarded vinous array.


As with the previous release, the Grand Reserve 2014 is boldly led by Cabernet Sauvignon. Both Delheim and the Stellenbosch region are globally recognised as being home to South Africa’s most highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon wines. This has made the Delheim Grand Reserve a sought-after collector’s item since the range was established in 1981.

The Delheim Grand Reserve 2014 follows a release of the previous vintage and four-year hiatus for the wine before that. Where its predecessor comprised completely of Cabernet Sauvignon, the latest bottling partners this king of grape varieties with 10% Cabernet Franc and a 5% touch of Merlot.

“The 2014 vintage of Cabernet Franc showed particular finesse and structure. It just made the perfect component for this blend of the Grand Reserve,” says Delheim winemaker Altus Treurnicht. 

“Differences in the growing conditions during the winter of 2013 up to 2014 also had a huge influence on the two vintages. Ultimately, Mother Nature always has the last say when it comes to grape quality and the wine’s ageing ability. The Delheim Grand Reserve 2014 gives great recognition to the vintage of that year.”

The vines that produced the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine are planted in such a way as to make optimal use of the terroir and climate. The Cabernet Franc hails from a block nicknamed Vaaldraai; and, the Merlot, from Peperboom, at the foot of Klapmutskop hill.


The Delheim Grand Reserve 2014 is available for R285 a bottle at the Delheim winery as well as top end restaurants and wine boutiques.

For more information or direct wine orders contact Delheim Estate at Tel: 021 888 4600 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Delheim is a proud member of the following organisations:

Wieta IPW Simonsberg Conservancy  CVC 



Tel: +27 (0) 21 888 4600
Fax: +27 (0) 21 888 4601

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Tel: +27 (0) 21 888 4607
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