Waterkloof Then & Now: Part 1 – The Vineyard
In 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheatre of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: THIS IS IT! Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began.
Although grapes were planted on Waterkloof since the early 1970s, the production of fine wines originated when the farm was planted, with some of the best material available, in the mid-1990s. Paul Boutinot took over the property just before the 2004 harvest, but the first vintage bottled under the Waterkloof name was from the 2005 harvest. In May 2008, Waterkloof was awarded Champion Status by the World Wildlife Fund’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative for our committed efforts to preserving the rare and abundant natural vegetation, fauna and flora (fynbos) situated on the property. We also began using biodynamic farming practices, as opposed to the conventional methods that the estate was previously used to. We’re sure you will agree, after looking through these old photos, that Waterkloof’s vineyards have come a long way since 2003!