Background


The Tradouw Valley is a notably small area situated in the Little Karoo, with a climate all of its own. The area is situated north of the Langeberg and stretches from the Wildehondskloof Pass in the west to as far as Barrydale in the east (15km) and is approximately 3 kilometers wide.

The climate is completely different to that of the Little Karoo with the winters being very cold and the summers cool. Agriculture concentrates mainly on fruit with the cultivation of apples being the most important. The reason for this is that apples require a colder climate than any other fruit and therefore grow only in certain areas. The fact that Barrydale Wine Cellar is the last to begin and last to finish harvesting (sometimes as late as May) shows what an important role the climate plays on our grapes.

It therefore came as no great surprise when our Chardonnay was chosen as the 1989 South African Champion wood matured white wine, and to show it was not pure chance, we did it again in 1991.

It was only in 1989 that the planting of quality cultivars were started in the valley. Red wine cultivars such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were planted even later and were only harvested in 1991. The Merlot has recently been released and here again there is no doubt as to the quality of the wine. Deep dark wines with strong cultivar character, made in a full-bodied style, is the result of correct climate and limiting the harvest.

Soil varies from medium depth on granite to shallow red yellow soil on limestone. Trellising is mainly four wire Perold system.

Mainly all harvesting of grapes is done by hand to ensure maximum quality, because of the soil types, drip and micro irrigation is used. Vines are planted mainly on the northern slopes.

Grapes used in the making of "Tradouw Wine of Origin" wines must also comply to various requirements, such as sugar, acidity, Ph and the production per hectare (maximum 15 tons per hectares). All grapes for these wines are selected in the vineyards and the tasting of these grapes plays a very important role in determining when to harvest them.

Should the wines in a certain year not meet up to the requirements as determined by the winemaker, then it will not be marketed under the Tradouw label, no matter what the demand is.

The idea is to keep to our motto "QUALITY AT ALL TIMES".

Barrydale Cellar
+27 28 572-1012