About Uitkyk

Uitkyk Estate was founded in 1712 when it was first granted to Jan Oberholzer, but vines were first planted only in 1929 when an immigrant Prussian novleman, Hans von Carlowitz, bought the estate.

Uitkyk Estate was founded in 1712 when it was first granted to Jan Oberholzer, but vines were first planted only in 1929 when an immigrant Prussian novleman, Hans von Carlowitz, bought the estate. It was Von Carlowitz who recognized the winemaking possibilities inherent in the high slopes of the estate, with their good soil and drainage. So, with the help of his son, Georg, they developed the vineyards, planting predominantly Chenin Blanc, Cape Riesling, Cinsaut and Cabernet.

It was a blend made from Cinsaut and Cabernet for which the family is still remembered. This was the famous Carlonet (the few remaining bottles of this blend are prized collector's items), which was complemented by a fine white blend, the sweet and fruity Carlsheim. Today the Carlonet is now called Uitkyk Cabernet Sauvignon as it is made purely from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

After falling on hard times in the post-World War II period, the Estate has made a comeback under new management and today Uitkyk is one of the most beautiful estates in the Cape. The name means "look out", which it does - from the southwestern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain where it is situated, across the Cape Flats to Table Mountain in the distance. A splendid setting for the striking and magnificent homestead - a neo-classical masterpiece and one of only three remaining double-storied flat-roofed 18th-century country houses that exists in its original form.

Historians believe that the designer of the homestead could have been the French architect, Louis Michel Thibault, who abandoned a career as a designer of military fortifications to devote himself to the graceful embellishment of the local burgher architecture. However, the house, built in 1788 during the ownership of Johan David Beyers to whom the property had been transferred by Martin Melck, Beyer's father-in-law, bears a strong similarity to the well-known Martin Melck House in Strand Street, Cape Town. It is highly possible that the same architect, J C Herzendosch, could well have been employed for the similar-looking house on the Uitkyk property. The sculptor, Anton Anreith, is likely to have been responsible for the extraordinary neo-classical front door that carries the outline of Table Mountain; a design that is repeated on all the inner doors of the splendidly restored homestead.

During its restoration, two beautiful murals were found on the interior wall of the entrance hall, buried under 15 layers of paint. The process of uncovering these wall paintings has been painstaking and meticulous. It was preceded by careful research and liaison with European experts in the field. Samples of paint fragments taken from the murals were sent to Europe for analysis and where possible, similar natural pigments were used in the restoration, which was completed in 1998.

The result after three years of work is a splendid example of late 18th century wall decoration of unsurpassed quality - a project that received the Cape Times Memorial Medal in 1998 for exceptional conservation projects in historic architecture. The original paintings are part of a composition based on the four seasons and make use of neo-classical elements such as paterae, swags, ribbons and trompe l’oeil treatments. Delicately painted, the two restored panels portray the seasons of Summer and Spring. It is expected that Autumn and Winter will be found on the opposite wall, for similar lines are visible when the light falls on that wall in a certain way. All the colourful birds, plants and insects so meticulously depicted, can be found on Uitkyk today.

Today, winemaking is the order of the day at Uitkyk. It is a property of some 600 hectares, of which about 200 are currently under vine, ranging from 200 to 500 metres above sea level. The size and the undulations of the mountain slopes provide several different meso-climates and a range of soil types varying from decomposed granite to deep, loamy red originating from Table Mountain sandstone. From noble red and white varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, winemaker Estelle Swart produces fine varietal wines and blends , which draw the spotlight and feature as some of the best-known South African labels. Thanks to the progressive viticultural methods at Uitkyk, the state-of-the-art cellar can rely on grapes of exceptional quality and flavour, vintage after vintage.

The white wines are particularly popular, with the Uitkyk Sauvignon Blanc being almost sold out before it is released, its crisp, fresh acidity and delicious fruity flavours capturing the essence of a Cape summer. The Chardonnay, on the other hand, has been generously wooded and drips with butter and delicious citrus flavours.

Estelle's first red wine, the Uitkyk Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2001 was released just in time to win a coveted Veritas Gold Medal, so we eagerly await the release of her other red wines.

Uitkyk Estate
021 001 0340