‘The’ is the only definite article in the English language. It is used when the speaker believes the listener to be familiar with what he is referring to.
There are many different reasons WHY a speaker would use it. For example it is used in reference to people or objects that are unique, or with the names of famous buildings, works of art and monuments; not with the names of your run-of-the-mill individuals or in fact ANYTHING run-of-the-mill. We aspire to having the definite article assigned to our labours here in the near future, ’THE’ Port2Port Wine MarketPlace, no? Hartenberg Wine Estate, however has already earned THE right to THE definite article, hence THE Eleanor, THE Mackenzie and THE Stork. All of which are named for a noteworthy person, NOT at all run-of-the-mill, but unique and impactful, monuments of South African wine (given our flair for the dramatic).
Now THE Mackenzie and THE Stork are named after Hartenberg’s most recent owner, Ken ’The Stork’ Mackenzie. ‘Stork’ being a double reference to both his purportedly gangly appearance and his role as a RAF Spitfire fighter pilot during the Second World War. Having acquired the farm in 1987, Ken is only one in a great line of owners who have shaped the farm into the wine producer it is today. Though as a fighter and survivor of the Second World War we can see why his legacy would have had significant impact on the farm. Knowing what we know of World War Two and the men and women who fought or were affected (see Band of Brothers, Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, Schindler’s List) the very act of fighting and surviving must have been so impactful. Though some suffered shell shock, there must also have been a profound need to live. And live he did, with the conviction of someone who had thwarted death and was hellbent on creating something meaningful, in his case: “to do whatever it takes to produce wines of outstanding quality.” The Stork is a 100% Shiraz and The Mackenzie a velvety Bordeaux blend of the kind Stellenbosch is known for; made by winemaker Carl Schultz, who this year will have completed his 24th vintage at the estate. He himself being an impressive figure in South African wine, as a member and one time Chairman of the Cape Winemakers Guild, Schultz is celebrated for his Shiraz, his Gravel Hill and The Stork being prime examples of this.
THE Eleanor is named in honour of Eleanor Finlayson, yet another owner of Hartenberg Wine Estate, who is widely credited for putting the whole farm to vine and leaving a number of elegant touches, still to be found today. From what we gather Eleanor represents the classic woman’s touch, which remains even today, 69 years since she first took control. As firm believers in the power of the female touch we understand their decision to name their award-winning Chardonnay after the lady herself. As ever we’ve had the good fortune to put together a selection of collector’s cases for you to cellar or drink, depending on your level of patience. Mind you, given the current wintry circumstances we predict that these cases of stellar Stellenbosch reds won’t make it through the upcoming long weekend.