It’s Really All About the Vineyard

At Waterkloof, we use organic as well as regenerative and sustainable farming methods to ensure that the vines are nourished and in balance. When you drive into the farm you are able to see the cows, goats and horses which we use for their manure as well as weed control, ploughing and many other purposes. Our soils are free of chemicals and are kept healthy by using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from our own, natural compost. Healthier soils mean vines with roots digging deeper than 5 meters, truly expressing the terroir.

These traditional methods, combined with a southwest-facing, windy vineyard site ensure a balanced and naturally low yielding vine that produces intense flavours. The vineyards are about 5 kilometers from the sea and are planted at a height of between 270 and 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium-sized stones, helping with drainage and also with moisture retention. The vineyards are an average age of 21 years.

A Gentle Hand

The winemaking philosophy is the same for all of Waterkloof’s premium white wines. We follow a traditional, minimalistic approach which means that we interfere as little as possible with the winemaking process. This allows the flavours prevalent in that specific vineyard to be expressed in the wine. To achieve this, all grapes are harvested on taste, picked by hand, sorted by hand and finally whole-bunch pressed in our modern basket press, so that we extract the purest juice in the gentlest way. The juice is then settled naturally for 24 hours. As we don’t spray any chemicals in our vineyard, wild yeast is employed to ferment the juice in old 600litre barrels. This leads to a longer fermentation process with a slow release of aromas and a more structured palate. The natural fermentation process took 6 months to complete, after which the wine was left on the gross less for a further 6 months. We do not add any acid or enzymes during the winemaking process, with only a light filtration and a small addition of sulphur added as a preservative prior to bottling.

And A Few Prayers To Mother Nature- 2020/2021 Growing Season

South Africa’s Western Cape is privileged to have a vast array of soils and climates, all within a relatively small area. Here at Waterkloof it is no different in our amphitheater of vineyards.

This vintage dates back to the old normal, which is great. A cold, wet winter. Warm spring and summer, without excessively high temperatures. The famously ferocious winds of Waterkloof have played their usual hand, naturally controlling yield and fungal disease such as mildew. Perfect. In 2021, we were picking everything at well over a hundred days from flowering. We saw very high acid levels during this vintage because of these cooler growing conditions. As with all years we had to spend a lot of time in the vineyards tasting to determine optimal ripeness and find a good balance.

We were happy to see slow ripening in the vineyards which always goes hand in hand with good quality.

The last vintage similar was the great 1997

A Tasting Note from The Glass Of Nadia Langenegger

Sauvignon blanc is very versatile and also shows distinct terroir characteristics. In this wine, the Schapenberg comes through, showing freshness mineral tones accompanied by passion fruit and lime notes. The palate is very elegant, refined and lingers well on the aftertaste. I enjoy this wine with a simple crab salad and it also pairs perfectly with crayfish on the grill.

The Numbers (28 000 bottles produced)

Alc: 14 %
RS: 4 g/l
TA: 6.9 g/l
pH: 3.15