Perched at the base of the Helderbergs rugged cliff-face, Uva Miras setting is spectacular. From its newly-planted vineyards the Cape unfolds - Stellenbosch cupped by the Bottelary Hills on the right, the undulating green of summer vineyard around it and the blue of the Indian Ocean to the left and the Atlantic Ocean to the right.

Former mining executive Des Weedon bought this 128ha piece of heaven in 1994. The buildings are plain - the store office and tasting room facility shares its practical design and dust-pink exterior with the homes on the farm - and wine cellar is still in the planning stages. For the time being the team on the farm - assisted by viticulture consultants Johan Wiese and Eben Archer - is concentrating its energies on the new vineyards and the eight hectares of proteas, pincushions and leucodendrums that are exported to the USA.

Existing Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay blocks, more than a decade old, have been supplemented by systematic plantings of Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay since 1994. When plantings are complete the majority of the 70ha under grape will be Cabernet. (70% reds and 30% whites).

Roobernet is one of a number of red juice crosses that were grown and initiated in the middles sixties by C.J. Orffer. It is a cross between the red juice cultivar Pontak (male parent) and Cabernet Sauvignon (female parent). The name is derived from the juice colour, red, and the name of one of the parents, Cabernet Sauvignon.

After extensive field research, with very good results, on the premises of the University of Stellenbosch and Nietvoorbij, Roobernet was released in 1983. The cultivar possesses a dark red, free flowing juice, of which a dark red wine has an almost black colour. Roobernet has a strong grassy flavour and possesses very good viticulture properties. Up to 1991, very few plantings took place due to the available material being heavily infected with "leaf roll virus". Since then it has been "fitosanitory" improved and very good propagation material is now available.

On ripeness a very good table grape and high quality wine is obtained. It has a full and very dark colour, with a typical grassy flavour that can be blended with other quality wines. It appears as if the red juice cultivar is very stable, and does not loose colour like other red wine cultivars.

The farm lives up to its Latin name - Uva Mira meaning "special grape" - insofar as 1997 saw the planting here of the worlds first commercial block of Roobernet, a Ruby Cabernet cross. Winemaker Jan "Boland" Coetzee makes Uva Miras wine in his Talana Hill cellar. Since then the Sauvignon Blanc and the Chardonnay have been released to great critical acclaim.

Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards