Beyerskloof

Within a mere 30 years – one generation – Beyerskloof has become synonymous with South Africa’s heritage varietal, Pinotage.

It all started with a vineyard, planted at a small home farm off the Koelenhof road in Stellenbosch, bought in 1988 when Beyers Truter dug his hands into the soil to plant the first vines. A few years later in 1995, the first Beyerskloof Pinotage was produced and bottled, and one year later it went on to win the first of many Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards.  From here, Beyerskloof continued to grow and in 1997, another 100 hectares were bought in the Bottelary Winelands of Stellenbosch, and again in 2018 with the purchase of another 50 hectares of vineyards known as Kriekbult. These vineyards can be viewed from the deck of the Red Leaf Bistro at Beyerskloof, stretching between the winery and the majestic Simonsberg Mountain.
Today, Winemaker Anri Truter continues to build on the legacy of his father, Beyers, while driving new horizons. With his passion for innovation in the vineyards and cellar, the future of Beyerskloof and Pinotage holds exciting promise.

Steenberg

Catharina is certainly one of the most daring and controversial figures ever to settle in the Cape. 1662 was far from being the age of rights for women, but despite seemingly insurmountable challenges, this indomitable lady boarded a sailing ship and made the perilous journey to the furthest tip of Africa. Five husbands later, the Widow Ras procured a portion of ground at the foot of the Ou Kaapse Weg in 1688, to “cultivate, to plough and to sow and also to possess the farm below the stone mountain.”

The farm’s original name was ‘Swaaneweide’ – The Feeding Place of Swans. Catharina, mistaking the area’s spur-winged geese for swans! In 1695 Frederik Russouw bought the farm and it was passed down through the generations until 1990 when it was purchased by J.C.I (Johannesburg Consolidated Investments) and re-developed into the glorious vineyard and hotel it is today. Graham Beck bought Steenberg Hotel and Steenberg Winery in April 2005. Steenberg Hotel has since flourished into a luxury destination with an award-winning winery set amongst the estate’s astounding natural landscape.

Waterford Estate

Waterford Estate is situated in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley on the Helderberg Mountain in Stellenbosch. The estate is owned by the Ord family and has been developed under the watchful eye of Kevin Arnold, Cellarmaster and Managing Partner, since 1998. Utilising the latest sustainability research, the estate uses only 120 hectares of their land for vines, to preserve and protect the natural fauna and flora on the estate.

Tim Atkin MW assessed the estate as being a ‘first growth’ within South Africa in his 2019 report. The wines are indeed highly garlanded, recognised for their restraint and poise. The aim of the estate is ‘less is more’ to ensure the wines express their vineyard sites to the fullest. ‘We keep things simple, both inside and outside of the cellar’, says viticulturist David van Schalkwyk, ‘We try to interfere as little as possible, allowing nature to do its job. In this way, our wines also have the best chance of truly reflecting Waterford Estate’s unique environment’. Winemaker Mark le Roux adds, ‘interfering as little as possible doesn’t mean the team gets to go on holiday more often! Finding ways to improve or maintain wine quality without manipulation is an art’.

Lemberg

Lemberg Wine Estate lies in the heart of the scenic Tulbagh Valley surrounded by the Witzenberg and Winterhoek mountains. Established in 1978, the estate originally found fame as the smallest wine estate in the Western Cape, nowadays Lemberg’s draw is in its uniquely stylish and eclectic varietal compositions – within Lemberg’s vineyards you will find the South African mother-block of the rare Hungarian white variety, Hárslevelü (harsh-ley-ve-lou). Released as a single varietal within their portfolio, it also plays a major role in Lemberg’s major white blend; The Lady.

Another strength of the estate is their understanding that innovation need not require a rewriting of the rule book. This is evident in their inspirational interpretation of Pinotage in the Spencer cuvée which has much in common with top flight cru beaujolais.

Kanonkop

Kanonkop is situated on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, from where it produces award-winning wines. A fourth generation family estate, it was originally purchased by JW Sauer (a cabinet member in the parliament of the Union of South Africa) and has been in the family ever since, now in the talented hands of its current owners Paul and Johann Krige and winemaker Abrie Beeslaar. 

Listed as a ‘first growth’ by Tim Atkin MW, Kanonkop is famed for its red wines, particularly Pinotage, which makes up 50% of vineyard plantings, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Merlot (7.5%) and Cabernet Franc. The name Kanonkop was derived from a kopje (hillock), from which a cannon was fired in the 17th century to alert farmers in outlying areas that sailing ships plying the waters between Europe and the Far East had entered Table Bay for a stopover at Cape Town. Paul Sauer 2015 is the first South African wine to be awarded 100 points in Tim Atkin MW’s South African Report.

Paul Cluver Wines

The Cluver family bought the De Rust farm in 1896 to provide summer grazing for their livestock. In the mid 1900s it became a renowned apple-producing area and was subsequently identified as an ideal cool climate wine region. This in turn led to the establishment of the Paul Cluver wine estate, the first winery in Elgin, founded in 1986. Recognised as pioneers of wine in the area, the focus is on producing elegant wines that are expressive of the terroir.

The wine business forms part of a 2000+ hectare holistic farming business called ‘De Rust Estate’, which includes the vineyards and cellar, apple and pear orchards, a Hereford stud and eco-tourism activities, including amphitheatre concerts on the farm. Forming part of the UNESCO world heritage site, the Kogelberg Biosphere, half of the estate has been set aside for conservation into perpetuity.

Kaapzicht

In South Africa, Danie Steytler has long been considered one of the top two producers of Pinotage in the country. He has won numerous awards and accolades for his Pinotage wines, and for the Steytler Vision, a Cape blend with 40% Pinotage. He is passionate about the variety which in Danie’s words, ‘put Kaapzicht on the map’.

Kaapzicht is situated up in the Bottelary Hills with magnificent views towards Table Mountain (hence the name Kaapzicht: Cape View). The farm, which was first mentioned in 1712, has been farmed by the Steytler family since 1946. Danie Steytler Jnr has taken over from his father as winemaker and continues the estate’s successes with Pinotage and Chenin Blanc.

The family take their responsibility towards their employees incredibly seriously and have a number of schemes in place to both make their lives easier, and improve their outcomes. These include an on-site crèche, Pebbles, for 10 babies and toddlers under 6. Since 2002, Kaapzicht have paid all school bills for the 42 children of employees, who also use Pebbles as an After School Club where they can do their homework and benefit from a number of extracurricular activities. In the evenings, Pebbles then turns into a centre to teach literacy to adults and offer tuition to help them achieve their end-of-school exams, sometimes many years after having left school.

Glenelly

Glenelly Estate is situated in Idas Valley, Stellenbosch, on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain. Its origins date back to the 17th century when Simon van der Stel, Governor of the Cape, gave the land to the French Huguenot François Villon in 1682. In 1812 the estate remained in French hands when it passed on to Johan Peter de Villiers.

So … why in 2003 did May de Lencquesaing, then owner of the famous Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande purchase the estate? Why after 30 years in the wine business in France would she decide to plant vines in South Africa? Why would an ‘older’ lady invest in this ‘younger’ democracy and start a new adventure?

Because she believes in the soil, the micro climate and the potential for quality wines. Because she believes in continuing the long relationship between the French and winemaking in South Africa going back more than three centuries. And because she believes in South Africa and wishes to play a part in its economic development.

Winemaking at Glenelly is considered an art form and 2009 saw the inauguration, on this 128ha estate, of a winery which is a stellar example of modern methods, design and environmental awareness.

Grandson Nicolas Bureau and winemaker Dirk van Zyl pictured above.

Rustenberg

Recognised globally as one of South Africa’s top five wine estates, Rustenberg is also one of the oldest in the Cape. In 1941 the Rustenberg Farm, which sits 6km north of Stellenbosch, was bought by Peter Barlow. The Barlows have been at Rustenberg for over 75 years: the longest period any one family has owned the farm with Simon Barlow taking over the running of the farm in 1987, and Murray, his son, now involved with winemaking and marketing.

Vineyards producing the grapes for Rustenberg wines climb the rich red slopes of the Simonsberg and Helderberg; a range of slopes and aspects allows site-specific plantings that enhance varietal characteristics. With a long and very proud history of producing exceptional wines, Rustenberg’s winemaking style is simple: produce quality wines true to the style of the estate and the brand.

black and white image catherine marshall winemaker

Catherine Marshall Wines

Founded by recognised winemaker Cathy Marshall in 1997, the Barefoot Wine Company was one of the first true ‘boutique/micro-wineries’ in the Western Cape, establishing a then ground-breaking, alternative approach, characterised by the use of a low-tech, but meticulous hands-on methodology which set the trend for the burgeoning garagiste movement. Thanks to Cathy’s tireless efforts, the company grew from humble beginnings (with a handful of friends and family gathering at harvest-time to press the grapes barefoot) to become an institution – inspiring hundreds of enthusiastic participants to attend the annual BWC foot-stomps! Her prowess has earned her a well-founded reputation for excellence. Since those early days, she has travelled the globe to hone her winemaking skills and is particularly proud of all her wines, especially her Pinot Noir – the change of name from the Barefoot Wine Co to Catherine Marshall Wines just says it all!

Cathy has long term relationships with growers, sourcing her grapes only where the match between terroir and grape are assured of producing the very best wines.

Rust en Vrede

For over 300 years Rust en Vrede has stood peacefully among the vineyards of Stellenbosch, with the original farm buildings built between 1780 and 1825. This prestigious estate was purchased by the Engelbrecht family almost 35 years ago, since when they have specialised in producing only red wine with the focus on Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot. These are wines with all the hallmarks of complexity and balance, as well as a sense of place which reflects their heritage. Many accolades have been bestowed upon the estate, including Rust en Vrede Estate Wine being chosen by President Nelson Mandela to be served at the Nobel Peace Prize dinner and hosting the Queen of Denmark for a lunch at the Manor House. Rust en Vrede was nominated as the first South African red wine in the Top 100 Wines of the World and went on to repeat this achievement for four consecutive years.

The estate is now run by Jean Engelbrecht (pictured above) and the winemaker is Coenie Snyman. An outstanding fine dining restaurant opened at the end of 2007 in Rust en Vrede’s original cellar, a cellar which is a registered National Monument.

Guardian Peak

Guardian Peak is one of the new generation of South African wineries producing wines that combine traditional body and structure with New World exuberance. It is owned by Jean Engelbrecht of Rust en Vrede, and as you would expect with this larger-than-life character, the wines are strong, positive examples of their varietals and location. The aim is to introduce more people to the fascinating lifestyle and culture of wine.

With the opening of the Guardian Peak Restaurant, fine wine, superb food and magnificent panoramic views are assured on any visit to the winery. Jean Engelbrecht’s philosophy for Guardian Peak, both the wine and restaurant is very much focused on terroir and the relationship between the land, the wine and the food of the region.