waterkloof wine estateIn 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.

Schapenberg (Afikaans for ‘Sheep Mountain’) nestles almost in the centre of the embrace of the Hottentots-Holland and Helderberg mountains. Its highest point is 300 metres above sea level and a scant four kilometres from the False Bay coast.


It used to be the hill where former Cape Colony Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel grazed his sheep, but it was also his lookout post to identify visiting ships, allowing him to race into town and sell his produce before the competition could. These days however, more and more vineyards are being planted in the area, already known as being the coolest in the Stellenbosch wine growing region.


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.

OVERVIEW

The farms aim is to produce “honest” wines that truly express our unique site on the Schapenberg. At Waterkloof we are fortunate enough to be looking after a vineyard, capable of producing naturally balanced grapes, imbued with their own character and sense of place. To respectfully transmit this character and balance into the bottle, we believe it makes sense to turn those grapes into wine with minimal intervention and maximum care (click here to learn more about how we make our wines). We monitor, we do not dictate.

With this in mind, all fruit is hand-picked and handsorted. Following this careful selection, our red and white grapes are handled differently, but are both treated with an equally natural approach.

wines 2 The Restaurant


A modern space featuring spectacular vistas, Waterkloof Wine Estate’s signature restaurant is literally taking quality Winelands dining to new heights. Gorgeously appointed in a glass promontory, the restaurant extends from the chic wine tasting lounge and gravitational cellar. Within its walls, French chef Gregory Czarnecki whets the appetite with contemporary classics, complemented by the estate’s elegant wines.

The restaurant’s open-plan kitchen emphasises the Waterkloof winemaking philosophy of openness and transparency. Although contemporary and stylistically diverse, each of the Waterkloof wines carries a strong core of elegance and integrity, and that is exactly what the food is all about – classical cuisine with a modern French twist.

 

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