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Delheim celebrates 80 years with their Iconoclast wine


15 October 2019

There are less and less family-owned wine farms in South Africa, and so it was wonderful to spend time with the Sperling family at Delheim as they celebrated 80 years of wine-making! Spatz Sperling was larger than life and made an incredible impression on so many people, and his legacy lives on with the little office museum room which is set up just as Spatz had it with an old type-writer - and their new Iconoclast Wine - a wonderful Cape Blend, celebrating the iconoclast which Spatz was - always questioning and challenging the status quo.

A number of prominent winemakers cut their teeth at Delheim or under Spatz's tutelage. Kevin Arnold's first job was the assistant winemaker at Delheim, and only a year later had to be take over the winemaking role as xxxx died.  Jeff Grier also took up an assistant winemaking job at Delheim under Kevin and later Chris Keet also put in winemaking time at the farm, as did Philip Constandius.

The celebrations at the farm on Tues 25th Oct were very special, learning more about Spatz and his tough approach to winemaking but also his generosity of spirit, and constantly striving for better.  Without his vision and perserverance, I doubt that the Stellenbosch Wine Route would be where it is today.

We had plenty of tributes and funny stories about Spatz from our own First Lady - Norma Ratcliffe from Warwick, who learnt a lot from Spatz during his weekly wine-tasting sessions where all the winemakers of the area tasted together.

There are only 2100 bottles of the Iconoclast produced 2012. It has beautiful packing, is delicious and selling from the farm for R1000/bottle.  Well done to the Delheim team - what a great tribute to a character of note!