“Looking over the vineyards, I could see the valley stretching out into the distance to mountains opposite. The sky was deep blue without a cloud with a raptor lazily circling over the vineyards.”
PETER MAY, THE PINOTAGE CLUB, LONDON
Vineyard Crop Map
The elevation from the vineyard office, close to the front gate, climbs 237 meters to the highest plantings on the mountain, from 430 meters to 700 meters above sea level. The agricultural land is irrigated with approximately 98,000 cubic meters of water collected by two dams on the property, and four highly productive wells, three of which were drilled since property acquisition. The dams are usually filled with winter runoff but we have constant inflow during the summer months as well. While the existing water distribution system did require substantial underground pipe replacement and new drip hose/emitters, the present water sources are adequate to irrigate 100% of the productive acreage.
Prior to acquisition, 33 hectares (Ha) of the almost 90 plantable Ha were in permanent crops: grapes, apricots, peaches, pears, and nectarines. (This area of South Africa is also famous for its fruit, and much of it is exported to Europe.) Except for 4.3 Ha of grapes that we will retain for the time being, the rest of the existing vines and trees were replaced by a program of replanting over seven years. Our cultivars are planted as follows: Cabernet Sauvignon 26.97 ha, Pinotage 12.85 ha, Shiraz 12.81 ha, Merlot 7.26 ha, Cabernet franc 4.89ha, Malbec 3.55ha, Petit Verdot 3.95ha, Viognier 3.09 ha, Petit Syrah 2.59 ha, Pinot Noir 2.2ha, Grenache Noir 1.76 ha, Semillon 1.5ha, Sauvignon blanc 1.5ha and Mourvedre 1.35ha.
With an abundance of land (341 acres) we have carefully selected ideal locations for growing South Africa’s heritage grape, Pinotage, and the noble red grapes of Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. We have also found that Shiraz grows exceptionally well in our mountain vineyards.
For white wines, the cooler temperatures in the mountains away from Cape Town have proven to produce lovely Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Semillion. Our grape vines are planted on moderately sloped hillsides up to almost 700m above sea level.