Annex Kloof Wines is a family project in the beautiful Paardeberg area in the Swartland.

Annex Kloof Wines is a family project in the beautiful Paardeberg area in the Swartland. Hugo Basson makes the wines on his farm and Father Toeloe and sons Thys and Tobie are farming in the surrounding Swartland area. Today Toeloe Basson has 5 grandsons to fill their dads’ shoes in the future, but it all started four generations back when great-grandfather Matthys planted the first vineyards around 1907 and started making wine in 1910. In 2005 Hugo who inherited his great-grandfather’s wine making talent, decided to start making his own wine again.

Annex Kloof is the name of Hugo’s great-grandfather’s original farm, which existed since 1906. The name has the beautiful descriptive meaning of “where the gorges meet”

When Hugo is not busy making wine, you will find him in the vineyards. At Annex Kloof your are welcomed by this winemaker in a warm typical farm-style way and then of course he believes that he, his family and friends have the task to help reduce the South African wine surplus!

About his wines, Hugo says, “I am looking for something classical and full of natural fruitiness. I believe that the Swartland has the perfect climate to create this in a wine.

Therefore I do not need that much oak to give my wine colour and structure.

“I believe that oak should be like a women’s make-up… Slight and soft … supporting the real beauty without killing the real character!” The aim of Hugo’s wines is... “Elegant, yet Powerful.”

We are situated in the northern slopes of the Paardeberg. There are three gorges (klowe), namely Aprilskloof, Joubertskloof and Siebertskloof. The top part of Aprilskloof was previously knows as Annex Bouerskloof and the bottom part as Lammershoek (at that stage two big farms). Somer of the parts were sold and the gorge was renamed Aprilskloof. In 1906 great-grandfather Matthys called the family farm Annex Kloof. The name has the beautiful and very descriptive meaning of "where the gorges meet".

The kloof is in the Swartland area, approximately 83 km north of Cape Town, thus near the coastline. It is situated between Malmesbury and Paarl on the R45 and surrounded by a few well-known cellars. This area has a warmer climate than Cape Town. The rainfall is 300 - 400mm per winter season (May - August) and the summers are hot with temperatures between 36° and 40° C. The nights cool down to 18° C in summer. In winter the average temperature is 10° C. offering the vines a nice rest period.

Our wines usually have beautiful, dark, intense colours with a good tannin structure and full-ripe fruit flavours due to the warm summer temperatures, and are unique to the Swartland.

That is also why our wines age so well in oak barrels.

Even though the types of soil vary, the largest part of the farm exists of granite with banks underneath, while the Glen Rosa vineyards next to the N7 grow in deep soil. The vineyards are relatively young and come from farms in the Paardeberg area.

All the vineyards are under drip irrigation. The majority of vines are trellised, except for the Pinotage in the mountains which are bush vines. The Pinotage produces 3 - 4 tons per acre, while the average production of the rest is 8 tons per acre.

Grapes are not being picked on certain balling, but for optimum ripeness. It is harvested ins small harvest cases and cooled down to 2° - 3° C which takes approximately 24 hours. It is then sorted by hand (all leaves and unwanted fruit are cut out). White wine is destemmed and pressed and just 500 litre per ton is used for the winemaking process. Sauvignon Blanc is fermented and aged in Stainless Steel tanks. Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay are fermented naturally in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels and aged on the lees for 10 - 11 months. After tasting, the best barrels are used for blending, placed back for a month and then bottled (this takes place on the farm as well).

Red grapes are also tasted in the vineyard before harvesting and cooled down and sorted by the same process. The reds are destemmed immediately inside small open fermentation tanks (2000 litres). Natural fermentation takes place for approximately 10 - 12 days. After fermentation the juice is left on the skins for 3 - 4 weeks. This assures good tannin structure and intensity. The next step is a very light press where after it is placed in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels where malic acid goes through and age for 17 - 18 months. Once again the best barrels are determined by tasting: then blending takes place and it is placed back into barrels for 2 months before bottling.

Annex Kloof contributes part of their profits toward the removal of alien plants on the farm. Unfortunately many fynbos are infested with these plants, especially the European pines which suppress these regions. By eradicating these plants, an enormous amount of water is saved, benefiting towards the recovery of Fynbos which form part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. A programme to reintroduce game such as Eland, Zebra and Kudu which once grazed the farm has also been introduced. Therefore we are working toward preserving, conserving and managing the farm's natural history.

AnnexKloof Wines