Zandvliet Wine Estate is found in the scenic Robertson Valley, not far from Ashton, off the R60. The farm straddles the Cogmans River, with the great Langeberg Mountains throwing a giant arm around it from the north and disappearing to the south-east. A small range of low limestone hills lie on Zandvliet’s southern half, bringing the special magic to its kalkveld (calcareous earth) terroir. Only 130 kilometres due south is the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas, dynamo of the breezes that cool our hills in summer.
THE VINEYARDS AND VITICULTURE
Grown mostly on the gravel and clay limestone slopes, the red varieties comprise Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Chardonnay, Colombard, Sauvignon and Chenin make up the whites. Currently there is an equal split between red and white plantings. Being in a semi-arid region, Zandvliet’s vineyards rely on summer-long watering. Working in conjunction with consulting viticulturist, Francois Viljoen, the vineyard director Dan de Wet is able to regulate the growth of the vine to produce the finest possible fruit by scientifically withholding (stressing) and supplying water to the vine during its growth period.
Other methods, to ensure small berries with greater intensity of fruit aromas and flavours are strictly controlled canopy management, crop thinning, severe winter pruning, and the total absence of inorganic fertilisers.