In 1988 one of the Cape’s most foremost wine makers, Beyers Truter of Kanonkop Estate, formed a partnership with four ardent wine lovers in Johannesburg with one ideal in mind: to produce a wine of exceptional character.
After exploring the Cape Winelands for a suitable location they found a perfectly situated farm in the Koelenhof area within the Stellenbosch Wine of Origin region. Coincidence provided an appropriate name. The farm’s original name was Nooitgedacht, which for five generations belonged to the Beyers family before Jan Andries Beyers sold it in 1895. Beyers Truter is a direct descendent of Jan Beyers, thus making him the sixth generation to farm this land.
This piece of land could only have one name – BEYERSKLOOF
Beyer Truter’s original search for land was focused on one thing only: finding the best soils to produce a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine. Beyerskloof’s shallow, gravely soil is very similar to that of Bordeaux. The shallowness of the soil led Beyers to plant almost 5 000 vines per hectare to optimise the small pocket of land. The vines are planted with 20 000 Cabernet Sauvignon vines and 5 000 Merlot vines. They are planted north to south on a five wire trellis system.
This is traditionally the best way to plant Cabernet Sauvignon. It allows the maximum hours of sunshine which is important for the formation of the higher sugar levels that give the Beyerskloof wines their ripe, fruity quality. There is no supplementary irrigation, unless the weather preceding a particular harvest is such that ground water levels are insufficient for optimal fruit ripeness.
The constant search for superior quality grapes led to the acquisition of an additional farm situated 2km from the original property in 1997. This Stellenbosch farm located on the Bottelary Road is aptly called Beyerskloof Vineyards and is 77 ha big of which 50 ha are planted. The varietal spread is made up of 30ha Pinotage (20ha Trellised and 10ha Bush vine), 15ha Cabernet Sauvignon, 10ha Merlot and 5ha Cinsault.
Hutton, Clovelly and Kroonstad soils ensure a better-quality ripening environment for the red grape varieties. The average age of vineyards vary between 8 and 15 years and yields generated from these vines amount to roughly 8 – 10 tons per hectare.
Beyerskloof has no particular recipe in the making of our wines. Important decisions remain the responsibility of the cellar master and winemaking team, guided by the specific conditions of the harvest, which in turn is determined by climate conditions during the growing season. The winemakers main concern is to bring out the flavours, colour and structure of the grapes.
As a rule, Beyerskloof still ferments in the old-fashioned way by using open-air fermenters. The barrel maturation cellar which stores new French oak barriques forms a crucial element of the Beyerskloof winemaking philosophy.
As the only indigenous South African variety. Pinotage forms the foundation of the passion, commitment and dedication that is lived out at Beyerskloof. As a result Beyerskloof is globally know for our Pinotage wines.