About the winemaker
With a distinguished winemaking career spanning 36 years, and owner of noteworthy accolades and awards of the international as well as national winemaking industry, winemaker Nicky Versfeld is one of South Africa’s most celebrated winemakers.
Winemaking goes back far in Nicky’s family history and one can say that he was literally born into the industry. It all begins with his great, great, great grandfather, Willem Ferdinad Versfeld buying Klaasenbosch wine farm in Constantia in 1809. Later on during the early 1900’s, Nicky’s grandfather, Louis Cuthbert Versfeld became the winemaker at Groot Constantia, this was also where Nicky’s father was born and raised. And last but not least, one of the most influential persons in Nicky’s wine making career was a close family friend and Nicky’s Godfather, Nicolas Charles Krone from Twee Jonge Gezellen in Tulbagh. All these factors and people in some way had an influential role why Nicky was drawn towards becoming a winemaker.
Nicolas Charles Versfeld, or Nicky as he is known to his friends and family was born on a sheep farm near the Northern Cape town of Calvinia. After his studies in Cellar Technology at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch, Nicky started his career at Simonsvlei. In 1985 he was appointed Manager/Winemaker at one of the most historical wine estates in Stellenbosch – Welmoed, which was first mentioned in 1690 and mainly known for its red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Having made Welmoed’s first Chardonnay in 1990, the same year had an extra jubilation in store as Nicky Versfeld’s Sauvignon Blanc was voted for the second time Champion White Wine in South Africa as well as his Port Wine. Six years later Nicky Versfeld joined the illustrious Steenberg Vineyards in Constantia, following his family roots back to Cape Town’s winelands. During his five vintages at Steenberg, Nicky, spent a working harvest season in Sancerre and Bordeaux, France, and not only sealed his prestige for stellar Sauvignon Blancs and astonishing new-wave Sémillons, but also shone his mastery with classically elegant Cabernets, Shirazes and Merlots. Inducted into the honourable Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) in 1999, winemaker Nicky Versfeld was now officially part of the inner circle of South Africa’s best winemaking artists. In the year 2000, winemaker Nicky Versfeld even received the award for World Champion Merlot at the International Wine and Spirits Competition as well as Silver for his Shiraz. These awards were accompanied by other accolades for his Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz such as various Double Gold Veritas Awards, multiple South African Airways trophies and Decanter World Wine Awards to name just a few.
At the end of 2001, Nicky became production director of Vinfruco, a leading exporter of big-volume branded wines and when in 2005 Vinfruco had merged with Stellenbosch Vineyards to form Omnia Wines, Nicky Versfeld found himself back on home turf as Omnia’s chief winemaker with its research hub at the Welmoed winery. After Omnia was renamed again into “The Company Of Wine People”, nowadays known again as Stellenbosch Vineyards and still one of South Africa’s leading wine companies, Nicky Versfeld produced the company’s core brands like Welmoed or the prestigious Kumkani label. Additionally, Nicky Versfeld has been the man behind Lanner Hill’s appraised premium Sauvignon Blancs since the Maiden Vintage in 2002 as well as the highly impressive Tullie Family Vineyards blend called “The Yair”.
Having honed his skills across the full spectrum of wine, Nicky humbly proved himself as one of South Africa’s most versatile winemakers. In fact, he is synonymous with the variety but it is to his merit that he has always insisted that the spotlight falls on his wines and not on him. Yet his almost mythical artistry with Sauvignon Blanc is undeniable. Being an accomplished and multiple award-winning winemaker, Nicky Versfeld applies his expertise, affection and passion in each signature wine which he creates under his own label. Hand selected from only the best grapes, the small batched premium wines stand out for their thrilling taste, excellent quality and yet reasonable price.
~ Welmoed Winery: Manager & Winemaker (1986 - 1996)
~ Steenberg Estate: Cellar Master (1996 - 2001)
~ Vinfruco: Executive Director Winemaking (2001 - 2004)
~ Stellenbosch Vineyards: Executive Director Winemaking (2005 - 2011)
1996 - 1999:
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Double Gold Veritas (1996)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Double Gold Veritas (1997)
2000 - 2010:
~ Merlot - World Championship Merlot @ International Wine and Spirit Awards (2000)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Double Gold Veritas (2001)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - South African Airways Best White Wine served onboard (2003)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Double Gold Veritas (2005)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - South African Airways Best White Wine served onboard (2005)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show – Silver (2007)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Decanter World wine Awards - Gold (2007)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - International Wine Challenge - Silver (2007)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards (2008)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Wine Magazine Tops at Spar Top 10 (2008)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Old Mutual Trophy Awards - Bronze (2008)
~ Shiraz - International Wine and Spirit Awards - Silver (2008)
~ Shiraz - Decanter World wine Awards - Bronze (2008)
~ Shiraz - AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge - Silver (2008)
2011 - Current:
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards - Gold (2018)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Shortlisted for selection on SAA Business class (2018)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Old Mutual Trophy Awards - Gold (2020)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Double Gold Veritas (2020)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards - Gold (2020)
~ Sauvignon Blanc - Platter's Wine Guide - 4.5 Stars (2020-2021)
~ Galaxy - Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards - Gold (2020)
~ Galaxy - Platter's Wine Guide - 4 Stars (2020-2021)
About the area of Nicky Versfeld Galaxy
Stellenbosch is the business hub of the South African wine industry and the educational and research centre of the winelands. It boasts a winemaking tradition that stretches back to the mid-17th century! With its mix of historic estates and contemporary wineries, Stellenbosch produces almost all the noble wine grape varieties, but is particularly renowned for its blended reds, like Nicky Versfeld Galaxy.
Some of the most famous names in Cape wine and the rapidly increasing number of wine estates and producers (more than 200) bear testament to this.
Landscape and features
Mountainous terrain, deep well drained soils and diverse terroirs are all key factors to its success as a premier wine district. Shale yellow and reddish Oakleaf and Tukulu soils on the slopes, lie beneath the sands and alluvial soils of the valley and an average rainfall from 600—800 mm a year falls on this idyllic wine producing area.
The area has an elevation of 1,494 m (4,902 ft.) The maximum temperatures in summer is 21.0° Celsius and a minimum of 11.0° Celsius in the Winter months.
About the area of Nicky Versfeld Sauvignon Blanc
The grapes used in the making of Nicky Versfeld Sauvignon Blanc originate from the Darling area, renowned for the outstanding quality of its Sauvignon Blanc.
It is Sauvignon Blanc that really leads the viticulture progress of this charming country district, It features beautiful Victorian houses and the quaint village of Darling is steeped in history. It is famous for its colourful display of wild flowers in spring and South Africa’s eco-friendly music festival, “Rocking the Daisies!”
Landscape and features
The Darling range of hills, runs parallel to the coast Some 10 km from the cold Atlantic Ocean. It consists of erosion exposed granite intrusions and it’s climate, favours the cultivation of more delicate grape varieties.
The Groenekloof ward, protected from the sometimes strong winds from the ocean, falls within this district and is renowned for the exceptional quality of its Sauvignon Blanc.
The average rainfall is a total of 586mm per annum with 173mm falling in the summer months. The maximum temperatures in summer is 25.0° Celsius and a minimum of 8.0° Celsius in the Winter months.