It’s a brand new day for Wildekrans Wine Estate. The metamorphosis of one of South Africa’s most promising cellars is well underway…so watch this space! Situated in one of South Africa’s most exciting wine producing areas, in the recently proclaimed Bot River Ward, this small yet focused boutique winery is currently undergoing an intensive programme of restoration and renewal.
The goal is to become a cellar of international distinction and a world-class wine destination – a result soon to be achieved judging by recent developments. With a team that is as passionate as they are dedicated, spearheading these changes, there’s no shortage of fresh ideas, innovative approaches and concentrated effort.
The estate comprises around 1000 hectares and was originally established as a mixed farming operation. Today Wildekrans still produces export quality fruit, but wine has become both a passion and a priority in more recent years. The terroir of the picturesque Bot River Valley has all the key components to produce grapes of the highest possible quality.
The cool Atlantic sea winds and lean soils, allow the grapes to reach optimal ripeness while imparting the characteristic cool climate aromatic profile that Wildekrans wines are renowned for. Careful site selection, strict canopy management and yield control, combined with the most cutting edge vineyard practices are paying dividends.
The estate is planted to around 52 hectares with future plantings set to enrich the portfolio. This year has seen the addition of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two quintessential cool climate varieties, destined for a future variation of the estate’s Cap Classique.
As with the vineyards, in the cellar the emphasis is on meticulous attention to detail and the gentlest of winemaking techniques. “We strive to deliver elegant, well balanced fruit driven wines. It’s of the utmost importance to maintain absolute quality throughout the range, from our value to our premium wines,” comments William.
“This year marked one of the best ever vintages for Wildekrans. Our yields are up from the previous vintages and the quality just shines through. The reds exhibit clean, ripe fruit flavours with silky soft tannins, while the whites are fruit driven and elegant with well balanced acidity,” he remarks. The 2009 Chenin Blanc Barrel Selection, harvested from 25-year-old vines, has been earmarked as Wildekrans’ flagship white.
Over the years Wildekrans has accumulated numerous accolades and awards for its Pinotage, a variety particularly suited to this region. The Wildekrans Pinotage Barrel Selection 2007 proved to be no exception when it recently scooped a silver medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
The winemaking and viticultural team follows a low intervention approach. One of their more recent eco-friendly innovations features a team of snail gobbling ducks that rid the vineyards of these tiresome and destructive pests. Other measures include protecting and maintaining the birds of prey, which live on the farm and assist with rodent control.
Wildekrans forms part of the Green Mountain Eco Route, a group of local wine farms and other attractions committed to conservation, sustainability and upliftment. As members of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative the estate is currently conducting a count of the birds and other wildlife, which occur naturally on the property.
With its kiddies’ play area and charming picnic friendly environment the estate is the perfect venue for families. Plans for the future include a new cellar and restaurant – promising a feast for the senses. Not only does Wildekrans offer a uniquely authentic wine experience, its tranquil surroundings, spectacular natural scenery and the warmest of welcomes make this one destination you’ll not want to miss.