Wines from the heart of Sir Lowry's Pass

Bordeaux Chteau owner has high hopes for Sir Lowry?s Pass Village wine estate...

It was a chance meeting with Graham Knox at a 1995 oak auction in Tronçais, France that, ultimately, led Bordeaux-bred Alain Moueix, to purchase Farm 14, a 40-hectare farm overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, situated equidistant from Somerset West, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and the False Bay shoreline. Alain was attracted to this site by his keen and innate sense of terroir and a firm belief that it could yield unique world-class red blends. With the release of Ingwe’s second red vintage, the 2002, Alain believes that the wines are now starting to show their full potential.

When Alain Moueix purchased the farm in 1997 he began a planting programmed of noble red varieties after in-depth soil tests had identified the most suitable sites. Plantings, which today cover 29 hectares, were mainly of the classic Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and some Petit Verdot. Shiraz was also planted, as was Sauvignon Blanc, which supplemented the existing vineyards on the farm.

Only two red and one white blend are being produced at Ingwe.

Alain Moueix

Alain is a scion of one of Bordeaux’s most important wine families. Their involvement goes back to 1930 when Alain’s great-grandfather, Jean Moueix bought Château Fonroque in St Émilion. His sons, Jean-Antoine and Jean-Pierre later formed Établissemets Jean-Pierre Moueix, which in the 1970’s became the leading négociant in Libourne, selling the great châteaux wines of Pomerol and St Émilion.

Alain studied agriculture and viticulture for 6 years at the University of Toulouse followed by a further two years studying winemaking in cellars in France (Corbières, Pouilly-Fuissé, Pomerol) and California (Napa Valley).

To learn more about the New World wine industry, he spent 18 months working the 1990 and 1991 vintages in New Zealand with the Brajkovitch Family at Kumeu River Wines, one of the most well-known and highly respected wineries in New Zealand.

In 1992 Alain took over as managing director of the 22-hectare Château Mazeyres in Pomerol, which is owned by the pension fund of a large French bank. Since his appointment, the quality of the wine has improved dramatically. In 2001 Alain took over the management of Château Fonroque, a St Émilion Grand Cru Classé with its second label Château Cartier Grand Cru, the estate that was bought by his family 74 years earlier. He also consults to the 4,5-hectare Château Moulin du Cadet in St Émilion, Grand Cru Classé, which is owned by his sister, Isabelle Blois-Moueix, a minority shareholder in Ingwe.

After their chance meeting in France in 1995, Graham Knox, owner of the then Berg & Brook Winery in Simondium, and Alain collaborated on the production of two ultra-premium wines, Naledi Cabernet Sauvignon and Sejana Merlot. Alain gained considerable experience of South African wine conditions through his many visits to the Cape.

Ingwe Wine Estate