The moment you walk through the doors of Delheim, you feel like you’re coming home. And that isn’t all that surprising. Brought in 1938 as a retirement home for long-time owner Mr Hans Otto Hoheisen and his wife Deli, the building was nicknamed Delheim, meaning Deli’s home. During their residence, the house was converted into one of the first wine farms to have a tasting room and serving restaurant in South Africa. Untouched since the 1980s, the exposed face brick walls and water-wise succulent garden welcome those from near and far with an entirely unpretentious, nostalgic atmosphere. It’s a very comfortable space. As we sat down for a wine pairing and lunch, we were greeted by the resident Jack Russells, one of them a sentry on standby for fallen bits of food.
The tasting was led by Junior, the friendliest Tasting Room Manager, who knowledgably led us through Delheim’s offering. The Pinotage Rosé was an obvious winner for us (we wrote about it here) as was the Spatzendreck, a wine literally called ‘Sparrow’s shit’. The story? Mr. Hans Sterling, owner and winemaker back in the 60s, pulled a sample of his maiden naturally sweet Riesling from tank 13 during a Sunday afternoon gathering – only for one woman to comment that it was ‘dreck’ (German for shit). Making fun out of a failure, Sterling strived to make a better quality wine (and succeeded), and designed a label which shows a cartoon sparrow pooping into a barrel – because shit happens, right? The label and wine were a hit with students in the area (ultimate glou glou wine), who would come fall asleep on the grass outside the tasting room after too many ‘tastings’. It is that chilled out, relaxing attitude towards everyone and anyone that makes Delheim such a pleasure to visit. After all, wine’s best when drunk at home.
PS. Try the wine and cupcake pairing. All the cupcakes are freshly baked and prepared, and highlight the characteristics of the wine. Our favourite? The cinnamon spice cupcake and Pinotage. YUM TOWN.