Background


THE FARM

The farm is 25 hectares in extent and is situated eight kilometres west of Stellenbosch in one of South Africas prime red wine producing regions. Stellenbosch was founded by Commander Simon van der Stell in 1679 as a new settlement for the Dutch colonists of the Cape of Good Hope. This created a centre for the growth of a new community, and one in which from the beginning wine was to form a major element. Free burgher farmers were released from their duties in the Dutch East India Company and along with new settlers began to work their own land. Past records name the farm as Schuldpadvlei and later as Goedgelegen. The present name of Boschkloof is derived from the appearance of a natural ravine or "kloof" on the farm. It is overgrown with trees and bushes and several wild lifespecies reside here, including small deer, porcupines, mongoose, game fowl etc.

The topography of the land consists of rolling hills with the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountains as backdrop. Table Mountain and False Bay ocean can be seen from high points on the farm. The soil is made up of mixed types, with mainly Hutton top-soil and deeper layers of shale, gravel and clay. While daytime termperatures in summer are fairly high, the cool ocean breeze in the afternoon and high elevation cause a drop in temperature and cool nights. This ensures full, crisp and healthy fruit. The Mediterranean climate and heavy lime-rich soils with average low vine vigour, create an ideal situation for the production of quality grapes and premium wines. Grape varieties currently comprise Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Weisser Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot while Shiraz will be planted in the near future. All vines are trellised and drip irrigated. While the plantings are of selected and "shy bearing" clones of each variety, additional complexity of character in the wine is obtained by cultivating two different Capbernet, Merlot and Chardonnay clones.

The relatively small size of the farm make personal involvement with the soil and hand-on training and supervision of the work force possible. The overriding viticultural goal is to achieve balanced vine growth, with naturally open vine canopies and good fruit exposure to sunlight without excessive temperatures. Planting densities vary between 3 800 to 4 800 vines per hectare depending on clone and rootstock vigour. It is because of the balance of the naturally lower yields of an average between 5 and 8 tons per hectare and the growth habit of the vines, that optimal grape quality results.

THE CELLAR

The cellar was established in 1995 and the first harvest processed in 1996. The cellar capacity at present stands at 200 tons of grapes. It is the aim of management to be personally involved in all cellar activities. Boschkloof will therefore always remain a boutique wine cellar with an annual maximum production of 20 000 cases of wine in future.

We believe that the process of making great wines begin in the vineyards. The grapes are havested by selected hand picking. The time of harvest is based on ripeness and favour balance. By concentrating on the delivery of cool and healthy grapes to the cellar, we minimise interference in the natural processes of wine development. The red wines are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. We are careful to ensure optimal skin contact. We apply very low levels of sulphur, gravity assisted draining of tanks to minimise pumping and handling of wine; and light filtration only if necessary. The fermentation process is initiated by inoculation of carefully selected imported yeasts. Tight-grained Frech oak barrels are used for the fermentation of Chardonnay and maturing of the red wine. We use an insulated barrel maturation cellar for this purpose where temperatures remain low throughout the year. By focusing on only three grape varieties, we are able to adopt a single cellar philosophy and pursue our goal of continuous improvement in our wines. All our wines are certified, bottled and labelled on the farm.

SOME RECENT AWARDS

Diners Club Wine Society - Wine of the Month - 1996 Boschkloof Chardonnay Reserve
The Oaks Wine Club - Best "Bordeaux" Blend at Tasting Sept. 1998 - Boschkloof Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Reserve
Veritas Awards 1997 & 1998 - The Veritas Awards represents the highest honours for excellence in winemaking in South Africa. Gold medals were awarded to 1996 Boschkloof Cabernet Sauvignon and 1996 Boschkloof Merlot. Silver medal awards given to 1997 Boschkloof Chardonnay, 1997 Boschkloof Cab/Merlot Reserve and 1997 Boschkloof Merlot.

Boschkloof Wines
+27.218813268