One of Plett’s most established wine estates, Newstead Lund Family Vineyards has recently had much cause for celebration as their Blanc de Blanc 2016 has won the trophy for Best Extended Aged Cap Classique at the 2023 Amorim Challenge for the second year running.
In addition, Newstead was awarded a Double Gold for their 2017 Blanc de Blanc. The Amorim Cap Classique Challenge is South Africa’s leading event affording recognition to the country’s astounding array of naturally-fermented sparkling wines, known as Méthode Cap Classique.
Of this year’s challenge, Newstead – owned and run by Doug and Sue Lund – noted that 157 wines from across the country were entered into this year’s challenge. From those entrants, five trophy winners and nine Double Gold winners are announced, putting Newstead in delightfully pleasant company. “One of the things we’re proudest of is that the other winners are from the old, established wine routes in and around the Cape. To be recognised amongst them – coming from the Plettenberg Bay Winelands, which are a little over a decade old – is very gratifying,” explains Sue Lund.
She goes on to explain, “At the same time, our relative youth as a wine producer shouldn’t hide the patience we require, and the leap of faith that we take – especially in the Extended Aged category. We hand pick grapes from our single vineyard that we planted, knowing that we’ll only discover what they really produce five years later. It’s as mysterious as it is exciting. Fortunately, the results have always been worth that wait.”
In the four years that Newstead bubblies have been entered into the Amorim Challenge, its the third time that they have been awarded. In 2020, on its first time entering, Newstead was named the overall winner and top scorer at the famous Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, as well as Top aged Cap Classique Trophy in 2022– the only time ever that these accolades have gone to a producer outside the traditional Western Cape Winelands. Lund goes on to thanks winemaker, Anton Smal: “To win once is incredible, To have done it consistently is incredibly affirming. Not only for us, but for our winemaker, Anton, who has been with us almost from the beginning. He is a rare talent and deserves the recognition that awards like this provide. We are so grateful to Anton.”
Newstead also extended their thanks to the people who support them by enjoying their wines and spreading the word, and to the organisers of the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, which is helping to put the estate, and the South African wine industry, on the world wine-drinking map. Amorim Cap Classique Challenge 2023 was hosted at the magnificent Mount Nelson.
Newstead’s first vintages of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were released in 2012 to almost immediate acclaim, and both varietals were later awarded at several shows. Pinot Noir came next. But it’s their Cap Classiques that have really made critics sit up and take notice, and Newstead is no stranger to recognition for their viticultural creations.
In the five years since their first release, the Brut and Rosé bubblies have won six Gran d’Ors (Double Golds) at the Michelangelo Awards. The famous Platter’s Wine Guide awarded a rare 5-star rating to the 2015 & 2016 MCC Brut Chardonnay. And in 2021, the 2015 MCC Brut was joint top-scorer in winemag.co.za’s Prescient Cap Classique Report. Predictably, both the Brut and Rosé Cap Classiques regularly sell out fast. So fast that other competitors other than The Amorim challenge were not entered from 2022.
Word has spread accordingly, as have accolades. Newstead has a growing base of fans and aficionados in Europe and the UK as recognition continues to increase. At the 2019 International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, Newstead was voted among South Africa’s top 3 Cap Classiques, and among the top 500 wines in the world; the gold-medalled Brut Chardonnay scored 95 points. Recently, Tim Aitken scored three Newstead wines above 90 – the Sauvignon Blanc and both of the two bubblies. And in the Gilbert Gaillard International Challenge 2021, the 2015 Blanc de Blanc MCC Brut was one of South Africa’s 5 top wines, scoring an impressive 94 points.
But while these awards may paint a picture of scale and grandeur, they belie the Lund’s humility and authenticity. Newstead’s philosophy is simple: care starts in the vineyards, where there’s evidence of meticulous attention to detail, the use of organic fertilisers and harvested rainwater. They have taken the unusual step of using netting over the vines, which results in unusually good grapes – some of the most unblemished any farmer is ever likely to see.
Running through the achievements and recognitions of Newstead Lund Family Vineyards, there’s a great sense of what is true to the Lunds and to Newstead: care, craft, people, quality… generally, the things that make life worthwhile. You’ll find that on their estate, and in every glass of their wine.
Order wine pre-release on www.newsteadwines.com.