Situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, in the heart of South Africa’s most famous wine region Stellenbosch, Ken Forrester vineyards are commonly referred to as the ‘Home of Chenin Blanc’.
The historic farm Scholtzenhof is one of the oldest wine farms in the Western Cape and was originally granted as Zandbergh in 1689. Ex-restaurateur Ken Forrester started his winery in 1994 with the purchase of the property and over the past 27 years has become known as one of the most dynamic and charismatic South African wine producers, often referred to as the ‘King of Chenin’ or ‘Mr Chenin’ due to his pioneering approach to producing quality Chenin Blanc, South Africa’s most-planted grape variety.
Ken Forrester represents the true pioneering spirit of the post-apartheid South African wine industry. Drawing on the examples of top Loire whites and one of the first to cherish and respect old-vine Chenin and to break the mould in terms of vinification style, he has used his uniquely placed Chenin vines to maximum effect and has single-handedly led a Chenin Blanc quality revolution. As a result, these wines have achieved iconic status worldwide.
Much of this work has been in partnership with his old friend Martin Meinert, and their most famous Chenin, The FMC (Forrester Meinert Chenin), celebrates this long-term relationship. Ken makes a wide range of Chenin Blancs to suit all palates, however his red focus is on Rhône varieties, which he believes is the way forward for the Cape’s largely Mediterranean climate.
Over the years their range of top-quality wines have received massive national and international acclaim with literally hundreds of awards and accolades.
Farming sustainably with no herbicides or pesticides, Ken Forrester’s philosophy has always been to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably compliment a wide variety of food styles. Thus the reason behind producing three Ken Forrester ranges including;
The Petit Range – A range of elegant, value for money wines, crafted for everyday drinking and to be opened and enjoyed light-heartedly. Created with a fruit forward profile that demands a second sip.
The Reserve Range – Sourced from older vineyards mainly from the family property in Stellenbosch, just 4 miles from the cool Atlantic and in the sheltered lee of the majestic Helderberg mountain. The Reserve range of wines, show more depth of character and concentration – ideal food wines, with structure and elegance.
The Icon Range – Sourced from single parcel vines, where an older, special vineyard like a small postage stamp on the map, produces exceptional fruit and extremely low yields. These wines make a statement of purity and show intensity, complex concentration of fruit and elegant balance. The pinnacle of the range, crafted in small quantities and continually scoring extremely high points across the Parker, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast ratings every year.
Today, along with his winery, Forrester is also co-owner of 96 Winery Road Restaurant, also in Stellenbosch.