Nestled between Elim and Cape Agulhas, and just 9km from the sea, lies the secluded Strandveld Vineyards.
This wind-swept winery derives its name from the belt of land which spans the tempestuous tip of Africa’s southernmost coastline. At almost 35 degrees below the equator, this part of our fair Cape is characterised by severe winds, billowing mist and below average temperatures. A unique combination of maritime climate, alternating sites and diverse soil types work together to create the terroir which distinguishes the wines of Strandveld Vineyards.
It was in 1488 that Bartholomeu Diaz and his team of Portuguese sailors first laid eyes on this corner of the continent. Centuries later similarly intrepid explorers, in their infinite wisdom, realised the potential such a richness of environment could produce.
Inspired by these individuals, it was in 2001 that a group of enthusiastic wine lovers turned to the original navigation maps to seek out potential new vineyard sites equally undeterred by the fierce storms and blustering gales that now give rise to the characteristic grapes and consequentially distinctive Strandveld Vineyards wines.
In July 2001 they found it – a somewhat rundown sheep and wheat farm of about 800ha a few kilometres from the southernmost tip of Africa. The adventure of planting and nurturing their own vineyards finally began.
Strandveld Vineyards is Africa’s southernmost winery and vineyard situated near the tempestuous southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas in the fledgling Elim wine ward. This area is characterised by constant cooling Atlantic winds which together with rocky mineral soils shape the distinctive cool climate wines of Strandveld Vineyards.
The discovery and exploration of this extreme growing environment and the pioneering adventure it has been seeing Strandveld Vineyards develop over the past 20 years is synonymous with the spirit of adventure and pioneering voyages of early Portuguese sailors who, overcoming great adversity, first rounded the Southern tip of Africa seeking a sea route to the east over 500 years ago.
While some may lament the fierce winds, rolling sea mists and cool temperatures, these are the foundation for growing the grapes that make the distinctive terroir driven Strandveld wines. The vines used for these wines contend with the same tempestuous elements as did the early Portuguese sailors.
Today we have 80 hectares of vineyard which due to the terroir is focused on Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Pinot noir with smaller plantings of Semillon, Viognier, Grenache and Mourvedre for blending. All the wine is produced in the modern cellar on the farm.