Background


The estate is situated right next to the Breede River, at the base of Sandberg mountain, approximately 15 km from Robertson. This town is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa, about 1½ hours from Cape Town. The estate lies in an area known as Le Chasseur, well known for its white wines, especially Chardonnay. About 85% of the total area of the estate is still in its natural condition and a variety of wild life still exists there. The more common species are antelope, steenbuck, pheasants and guinea-fowls. There are predators like the African lynx and even cheetahs in the mountaneous areas. On a clear summer morning one can also see the Fish Eagles of the ajoining Breede River soaring through the sky on a hunt. This might be an explanation for the origins of the estates name, which means "the great hunter" in French. The estate comprises two adjacent farms, of which the larger is just over 1200 ha. A cellar where all our wine is made, is situated on the smaller farm. We handle around 3000 tons of grapes per annum.

HISTORY
The area where the farm is now situated, originally consisted of a number of smaller pieces of land. These had such diverse names as Laughing Waters, Windhoek, Voorspoed, Die Gwharries and Claris Wold, a piece of land apparently added by a German. These farms were acquired way back in the 17th century when, under Dutch rule, a farmer would be given a piece of land as large as what he could mark off in a single day.

The major physical feature in the area is Sandberg mountain. According to geologists, this mountain was pushed up the middle of the Breede River, forcing the river to find a new way to the sea and leaving round river rocks on top of a sandy mountain. This mountain played a major role in 17th century transport. The result of this was that Die Kaapse Roete, a route linking the Cape Colony to the Republic of Swellendam, winded through the Le Chasseur valley and over the place where the estate is now situated. A famous Dutch governor, Simon van der Stell, stayed over in the area regularly. In the 19th century, the area became known for its ostriches, long before this business flourished in Oudtshoorn, since Robertsons climate is actually more suited to this type of farming than Oudtshoorn itself.

PRODUCTS
All the estates wine is produced in a cellar with the newest technology. It is also being modified continually to keep up with the very highest industry standards. We also make use of a flying winemaker to introduce new ideas and keep up with the latest trends. Grapes are harvested during the early morning (from 1 a.m. onwards) to ensure that they arrive at the cellar nice and cool. 70% of the harvest is done mechanically and about 50% of the grapes are harvested before sunrise. Wine is mostly produced for the major wholesalers in South Africa. A growing amount is also being exported to Europe and specifically the United Kingdom. We also produce estate wines. Currently we offer Laughing Waters, a blend of Chardonnay and Colombard.

Habata @ Le Grand Chasseur
+27.236261048