We believe wine is made in the vineyards.
We believe our wines are made in the vineyards. Our unique situation in Stellenbosch on the Southern tip of Africa provides the ideal area for the prodcution of quality wines.
The interplay between our diverse soils, steep slopes and carefully selected varietals provide the grapes we use to make our complex, storied wines.
Vines have been grown on the estate since 1812. Initially the vineyards were all planted in the valleys and lower slopes on the property and it wasn't until the mid 1990's that we began uprooting the lower vineyards and planting slopes higher on the property, in search of better drained and cooler sites.
All Varieties have been carefully paired to the site on which they are planted. The vineyards vary in age from just planted to 36 years old. We have 8 varieties of grapes planted on the property.
The Soils and slopes on the estate are incredibly diverse.
Shale (Swartland Shale)
Sediment laid down millions fo years ago when the area was under water solidified to form shale. This was then covered and a small band was exposed, upon which our highest vineyards are planted. This is a very poor, shallow soil which causes the vines to work hard to survive and ensures mild stress in the summer. Our Sir Thomas Cullinan, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Aspect Merlot and Free to Be Weisser Riesling come from these blocks.
Decomposed Granite (Tukulu, Oakleaf, Klapmuts, Kroonstad)
Granitic mountains decomposed over millions of years to form these soils are more common to the mountainous areas around Stellenbosch. These soils are well drained and do not hold too much water in the summer months. This restricts the vigour of the vines and produces grapes with concentrated and intense flavour and tannin profiles. We have Chenin Blanc, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc planted to these soils.
All of the soil types are well drained and have a low water holding capacity. This results in them warming up in the summer months which aids in the ripening of the grapes.
The lowest point of the property is at 150 meters above sea level and the highest at 350 meters above sea level. So there is a 200 meter gain in elevation over the property and this also creates a very diverse set of microclimates.
Our slopes are as diverse as our soils with vineyards facing all directions. Our vineyards are planted predominantly on South to South West facing slopes. This is the coolest aspect on our property as it exposes the vineyards to the prevailing summer breezes that come out the south off the cold Atlantic ocean in the summer months. The only North facing slope that is planted on the property is planted to Syrah. This slightly warmer aspect suits Syrah and the style of wine we aim to make from this block.