Situated on the outskirts of Paarl, the vast KWV production cellars are, at 24 hectares, the largest single winery in the southern hemisphere, producing upwards of 15 million litres of wine each year. Yet hidden away beneath the sea of warehouse roofs and rows of massive fermentation tanks you’ll find a special corner of this award-winning cellar; a tiny space of small tanks and hand-labelled barrels. This is the home of The Mentors.
Since its launch in 2006, The Mentors range has established itself as one of the most sought-after premium brands in the South African wine landscape. Built around a philosophy of expressing terroir and pioneering new wines and wine-making techniques, it’s a portfolio that showcases the founding philosophy of KWV, and the rich history and depth of expertise at one of South Africa’s leading wine producers.
“The Mentors cellar was initially a space for us to push the boundaries of our winemaking knowledge,” explains The Mentors winemaker Izele van Blerk, who marks her 11th harvest with KWV in 2018.
While a permanent portfolio of eight wines – Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Noir, Petit Verdot, Pinotage, Orchestra and Canvas – are released under The Mentors label each year, Van Blerk and the winemaking team have the enviable freedom of pursuing innovative new varietals and blends from every harvest. The permanent range is complemented by an ever-changing line-up of exclusive limited-releases each year, the choice of cultivar reflecting, simply, what has been the best performer in the vineyards that year.
The Mentors tasting experience at the KWV Wine Emporium has also been reimagined, with a duo of tasting journeys on offer. For the hungry, four wines from The Mentors range have been paired with artisan pies hand-made in a local bakery, the perfect showcase for these food-friendly premium wines. Expect the likes of The Mentors Chenin Blanc alongside a chicken curry pasticcio, or The Mentors Canvas paired with a proudly South African bobotie pie.
KWV Wine Emporium is situated at Kohler Street, Paarl
To buy the wines online kwvonlineshop.kwv.co.za