The Marais family, seventh generation descendants of the French Huguenots who arrived in South Africa in the late 1600's has farmed in the Robertson Valley for more than a hundred years.

When the family first arrived in the area, it was thought that conditions were unsuitable for the growing of grapes. Sheep and ostriches were the main farming activities. The Cloverfield section of the farm was bought by Pieter Marais in 1917 from his neighbour Duncan Barry. The old oak tree still standing is the only evidence of a shepherd's hut that once stood there.

The discovery of cold fermentation soon showed that exceptional wines could be made here. The Marais family became pioneers in wine making in the Robertson area, producing their first wines in 1945.

A walk through our vineyards

The Marais family has about 110 hectares under vine. Mainly Chardonnay and Shiraz are grown here, but there are also Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Colombar, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Cinsaut, Semillon and Petite Verdot. The vineyards lie between the Langeberg Mountain in the north and the Breede River in the south. There are two main soil types - one rich in lime, the other a very fertile alluvial soil found along the banks of the river.

The area surrounding Cloverfield is blessed with a healthy and generous climate. It is cold during the winter and this ensures even budding and ripening and good fruit. Though rainfall is not high, the rains fall late during the winter and this helps the grapes at the start of the growing season. Warmer conditions prevail in November and December, but then the cooling south-east winds from the Indian Ocean blow in across the valley.

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