The Farm and it’s people

The Farm and it’s people

The cool mountain mists of the Southern Cape offer conditions similar to Europe’s Pinot noir area, Burgundy. In a secluded 324ha valley at the foot of Cradock Peak, the highest in the Outeniquas, bordered on three sides by vast tracts of nature reserve and home to baboons, bush pigs and flocks of fruit-eating birds, hops lands and invasive alien vegetation lies a vineyard that was established 1999.

Planting 2ha of Pinot noir in 1999 and extending it to 6ha with plantings of Sauvignon blanc, and small experimental blocks of Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet sauvignon in 2000 the vineyard has now grown to 8ha and includes varieties like Weisser Riesling and Semillon.

It gave opportunity to local farm workers, some who have been the muscle and stamina in the vineyard and cellar since day one, and who, willing to learn, put their all into the dream of growing and making wine and restoring 121ha of the 324ha farm to mountain fynbos. Above all they are family men, and together with their wives who help with labelling and bottling in the cellar, raise their beautiful children on the farm to appreciate and respect the environment.

Ingrid Scheepers, who grew up on the farm became the darling of the tasting room after completing her matric in 2007. She welcomes visitors with her warm friendliness, impresses with her knowledge of the area, the vineyards and the wines, meticulously maintains stock records, supervises labelling and manages sales, the kitchen and the guest cottages.

The crisp, clean air and pure mountain streams in this vast wilderness area contribute to an environment that is challenging and rewarding. An electric fence keeps the grapes safe most of the time from marauding baboons and innovative zone netting gives protection against fruit eating birds.

Humour, humanity and long suffering have gone into this pioneering venture, remote from other wine farming regions, but it has brought rewards, not the least being the wines of consistently fine quality Pinot noir and Sauvignon blanc grown, made, bottled and certified in the Outeniqua Ward, the restoration of exquisite mountain fynbos on more than 120ha of the Outeniquas and the development of personal pride and purpose which will be imprinted for generations.