The vineyards

At present we have 176 hectares of vineyards...

At present we have 176 hectares of vineyards. This year we are planting 10ha of Nouvelle (to be blended with Sauvignon Blanc – gives great green flavours) and 20ha of Shiraz. We had intended on not planting any vines for 2007, but will re-evaluate this depending on market developments. From 2008 we will be planting 10ha each year, which is what we will need for replacement. As we have available land, we can increase our plantings should the market indicate.

Our main emphasis will be on Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. However, we also intend experimenting with small quantities of varietals such as Barbara, Sangiovese, Tempalino and Mouvedre. One is allowed to add15% to a varietal without having to change the name and we believe small additions (5-10%) can compliment a varietal by giving it more complexity and structure.

We use the vertical trellis system and our vines are developed on cordon. Bearing canes are carefully spaced to ensure adequate ventilation in the canopy without exposing the bunches to unnecessary sunlight. We believe that balance is more important than production and we find that our vines to be in balance when they produce about 10 tons per hectare. With all future plantings the rows are to be angled in a West-North-Westerly direction; this to ensure the minimum possible sunlight on the canopy. We add no fertiliser before the harvest, as we believe excessive vigour in the canopy to be the biggest deterrents to quality grape production. Also, the amount of water we add is very carefully monitored.

Our soils tend to be calcareous with a very high potassium content; the calcium gives good acidity while the potassium ensures a firm cell structure.

Viticulture is a philosophy and our philosophy is that great wine is made in the vineyards. To this end we do everything possible to ensure that the grapes which we receive into our cellar are of the best quality.