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The History of a Hidden Gem

By September 5, 2023Farm News

It was in July of 2001, a few kilometres from Cape Agulhas, South Africa, when a group of devout wine enthusiasts transformed a somewhat rundown sheep and wheat farm into a place that possesses an undeniable allure, where the combination of unique terroir and rich history now culminate in the creation of exceptionally unique wines. 

Here at Strandveld Vineyards, our passion for crafting wines with a distinct flair reflects the rich history and tempestuous nature of the land, as well as the pioneering adventure and exploration of the Elim ward.

Elim wine farms: A place to note on the vino map

 Only a short distance north of the wind-blown coast of Cape Agulhas, South Africa, lies the quaint town of Elim. Established in 1842 by German missionaries as a Moravian Mission Station, this charming little town might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about renowned wine regions. However, the allure for winegrowers of the Elim wine farms stems from the cool climate in lieu of the prevailing warmer wine regions of the Western Cape. The gusty winds and brisk conditions allow for the production of wine styles that go beyond the ordinary.

A unique terroir 

The terroir of our 80-hectare vineyard is a harmonious blend of elements that contribute to the distinct character of our wines. These hardened landscapes, coupled with tumultuous weather conditions bring to life the diverse macro-climate that shapes the aromas and flavours of our award-winning wines.

A scope of our soil

 Our soils range from shallow to medium-deep duplex soils, characterised by their low nutrient content but high mineral richness. This plays a pivotal role in shaping the unique qualities of our wines. The presence of shale introduces intense flintiness, while the granular and iron-rich “Koffieklip”, the dominant soil that stretches across the belt of the Elim wine farms, gives rise to a rich complexity. The cooler, south-facing slopes of our vineyards are dominated by red and yellow Ferricrete, an indurated soil enriched with iron. This unique soil is ideal for heat-sensitive cultivars like Sauvignon Blanc, while a distinct block of white quartzite gravel soil is used to produce our renowned Rhône style Syrah. 

The cool climate advantage

 Across the region of Cape Agulhas, South Africa, with an approximate rainfall of 450mm and colder-than-average temperatures, the chilly climate of our windswept vineyards lends itself to cultivating Sauvignon Blanc as the primary white varietal, with smaller blocks dedicated to Semillon and Viognier. As for red varieties, our vineyards feature Shiraz and Pinot Noir, interspersed with pockets of Grenache and Mourvèdre.

 The persistent cooling gusts of Atlantic sea wind not only keep the grapes dry, preventing diseases, but also allow for longer ripening periods that provide low yields. The result? Small berries that burst with intense flavours. This imbues our wines with the highest-quality cultivars that tell a tale of our tempestuous terroir and true winemaking craftsmanship.

The essence of Strandveld Vineyards

 Our passion for winemaking runs deep, intertwining with every aspect of our craft. From the vineyard to the cellar, our dedication and love for the art of producing only the finest wines shine through in every bottle. As you savour the flavours and aromas of our wines, you become a part of a story steeped in passion, terroir and history – A true testament to the unparalleled region synonymous with the Elim wine farms.