01 June 2018
While Scandinavia is synonymous with Vikings and their exploits, its mythological world is equally fascinating. There are nine realms and scores of gods and goddesses in Norse myths, but also many other fantastical creatures such as dwarfs, giants and enchanted animals. The goddess Idun is one of the most prominent figures and she plays a very important role, since she is tasked with feeding the gods and goddesses magical golden apples that keep them young. Idun’s special fruit reminds us of our spiritual home in the fertile Elgin Valley and her restorative powers inspire us on our journey to a personal renaissance. Quite fittingly, she is also married to the god Bragi, who represents poetry and eloquence. It’s a match that echoes the perfect union between new possibilities and the age-old poetry of fine winemaking. When we find ourselves at one of life’s crossroads; when it’s time to make an important decision or set our sights on a new direction, we look for wisdom and inspiration. We have chosen Idun to lead us on our journey. As the goddess of fertility, eternal life and apples, she embodies everything we hope for: A personal renaissance and a life lived to the full.
21 May 2018
On a family trip to South Africa we stumbled upon a magical valley just off the country’s southwest coast. The valley was teeming with warmth and life: Hearty hospitality from the locals, fruit trees heavy with apples and pears, the heady scent of roses and indigenous fynbos flora… The place is called Elgin and it’s where we found our muse, Idun – the goddess of eternal life, apples and fertility. This captivating, fertile valley’s agricultural potential was unlocked with the arrival of the first European settlers in the 1800s. One of the earliest farms, Grietjiesgat, later developed into the village of Grabouw, which today sits in the heart of Elgin. The town received its moniker from a German painter, Willem Langschmidt, who settled on Grietjiesgat in 1856 and named the surrounding area after his birthplace, Grabau. (It’s worth mentioning that the fecundity that prevails in the valley also affected the Langschmidts, who had 23 children.) Today, beautiful cut flowers, olives, pears, apples and grapes are cultivated in Elgin. Out of all these delights, the area’s apples are perhaps the most seductive. From pretty, tart Pink Lady to crisp, crimson Top Red, over 60% of South Africa’s apples come from here and are exported worldwide. The valley is a quick one-hour drive from South Africa’s oldest city, Cape Town, and besides its lush forests, orchards and flora, offers visitors much in the way of hiking, biking, birding, dining and exceptional wining. Not to be outdone by the apples, the valley’s wines are truly something else. They’re made from grapes that ripen slowly because of Elgin’s fertile soil, location some 350 m above sea level and cool Mediterranean climate. The result is world-famous ‘cool climate’ wines that are delicate, elegant and age beautifully due to their higher acidity. Ah, Elgin… Did we mention the wining?
17 April 2018
There’s a remarkable piece of paradise off the east coast of Africa: A centuries-old family estate on the magnificent island of Mauritius. Framed by spectacular sugar cane fields, the estate dates back to 1774 and boasts a beautiful old château and breathtaking orchards. There, in a home surrounded by centenary mango and palm trees, is where you’ll find the Rousset family. “The story of Idun is about more than a passion for winemaking and a journey of discovering the Elgin Valley. Idun is inextricably woven into the story of our family,” says founder Albert Rousset. In the beginning there was Joanne and Albert. The couple met while studying at a design school in Durban, South Africa. Joanne grew up in Durban, while Albert was raised in Mauritius and spent his final school years in South Africa at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg. The couple has been married for 28 years and has four children. Their firstborn, Jamaique, is 24 years old and currently studying clothing design at Esmod in Paris. 20-year-old Yasmin is an architecture student at England’s Bristol University, while 18-year-old Leo and 13-year-old Jenna are both at school in Mauritius. The Rousset family is a close-knit bunch and share a passion for travelling and horses. Especially horses. The family has kept horses for over 100 years and like their ancestors, all six of them are avid equestrians. Idun Wines was born when the family travelled to the southwest coast of South Africa to scout out a special needs school for their son Leo. On their visit, they passed through the fruitful Elgin Valley, which is as famous for its outstanding wines as it is for its delicious apples. The Rousset family was captivated by the quality and potential of South African wines, and local winemaker Paul Wallace inspired them to embark on a journey in pursuit of creating truly exceptional wines that embody their journey as a family. The name Idun came naturally, as she is the Norse goddess of eternal life, fertility and apples. Idun brings the hope of new beginnings and the chance to create something to cherish today and for generations to come.