A December holiday in 2016 with friends, lead to the creation of a unique story. Only 15km from Hermanus lies ESC Wines, a small vineyard and protea farm with stunning views of the Bot River Lagoon.

Tian Claassens and CJ Venter, both wine lovers and engineers from Pretoria, came up with the idea to develop their own wine farm. They identified land on the Afdaks River and by September 2017 they were the owners and embarked on a “second career”. In 2018, friend and fellow wine lover Dawid Upton joined as shareholder, followed shortly by Corne Richards. They planted their first few hectares of vineyards in 2018 with the guidance of consultant viticulturist Johan Viljoen.

In 2019, they planted the first of 7 hectares of proteas with help from Fynbloem, which mainly exports to the UK. In 2021, the group of four shareholders began looking for buyers for their grapes and was introduced to David Nieuwoudt of Cederberg Wines – an award-winning wine maker known as an innovator in the industry. David became the fifth shareholder of ESC Wines, making the vineyards’ wines at his cellar in the Cederberg.

Most of the vineyards are planted on the southern or south-western slopes of the farm with a direct view of Walker Bay. The cool sea breeze onto the vineyards enhances the maritime influence on the vines. The vineyards’ wines have gone on to do extremely well, with both Sauvignon Blancs achieving gold, and the Shiraz a double gold, in the Gilbert & Gaillard International challenge.

The tasting room opened in December 2023 where people can taste and buy ESC wines. These five men are entrepreneurs, sports men, dreamers, and adventurers - a dynamic team that has a unique culture, and they grow, together with the wine.

CJ Venter
David Nieuwoudt
083 625 5714
Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00-16:00
Wine Tasting & Sales
Function Venue
Pet Friendly
Child Friendly

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