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VINEYARDS

Our philosophy in the vineyards tends towards the natural rather than the scientific.
We aim to create wines that reflect the beautiful place from which they come and the particular year’s vintage conditions. For this reason, we try to use less chemical fertilizers, fewer pesticides and to irrigate as little as possible. We hope to achieve natural, well-balanced vineyards that ultimately yield better quality wines. Only grapes grown on Keermont Vineyards are used in the production of our wine.

Keermont Vineyards is blessed with some very special and unique vineyard sites. The farm is situated high up in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley, otherwise known as Paradyskloof (Paradise Valley). The Blaauwklippen River, which bisects the farm, is also the boundary between the Helderberg and the Stellenbosch Mountain Range. This means that some of the vineyards are on the warmer north-facing Helderberg slopes and others on the cooler west-facing Stellenbosch range. Due to the steepness of the terrain, the altitude climbs 200m within the 1.7km length of the farm and the vineyards are planted between 250m and 400m above sea level. Thus the vines planted over these different terrains ultimately produce wines with good complexity and a variety of flavours. In addition, just over the Helderberg mountains, False Bay and the Indian Ocean lie just 12.5km from the farm, which also contributes to our local climate.

Guardian Peak, a great peak that is over 1000m high in the Stellenbosch Mountain Range, towers over the farm to its eastern side. The sun rises from behind this peak year-round, resulting in a much later sunrise than in the rest of the area. This effect, combined with the altitude at the top of the valley, results in very cool night-time and morning temperatures which are excellent for the slow ripening and good phenolic development of our grapes. The cool south-east breeze that blows off the Indian Ocean during summer also helps to keep afternoon temperatures fairly moderate.

Our soils are generally a deep, rich, red loam. This is a colluvial layer of quartzitic sandstone boulders in a matrix of dominantly sandstone-derived loamy sand which was formed by the weathering of the quartzitic sandstone in the rocky upper parts of the surrounding mountains. These soils are generally rich in iron, minerals and organic matter and have a good water-holding capacity due to their clay content.

The Blaauwklippen River runs through the middle of the farm. It is fed by five streams which flow through the farm throughout the year. These streams have resulted in the formation areas of darker stony soils which give us areas of medium textured young alluvium.
The mountainous terrain and areas of differing soil types have given us pockets of excellent and varied terroir. These pockets are separated by tracts of pristine mountain Fynbos and Renosterveld (endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa). We believe that these tracts of natural vegetation encourage the accumulation of natural predators and deterrents to those organisms that may attack vineyards.
Each pocket of varied terroir has been carefully studied and the best grape variety and rootstock combination has been chosen to be planted there. Blocks of vineyards are further divided into separate parcels of differing clones of that grape variety. This enables us to manage each parcel according to its own its planting density, training and irrigation needs.

Grape varieties planted can be seen in the list below along with the size of their vineyard area.

Variety
RED
Area (Ha)
  Variety
WHITE
Area (Ha)
Shiraz
6.7
Chenin Blanc
4.7
Cabernet Sauvignon
5.1
Sauvignon Blanc
2.2
Merlot
2.3
Chardonnay
1.0
Cabernet Franc
1.8
Roussane
0.7
Mouvedre
0.8
Viognier
0.6
Petit Verdot
0.6
Marssanne

0.3

Malbec
0.4
Total White:
9.5
Total red:
17.7
 

We use a variety of planting densities ranging from 2600 to 5700 vines per hectare, according to the variety’s specific terroir requirements. Most vineyards are trained on a triple lengthened Perold system which consists of a split cordon at 700mm above the ground and three sets of movable foliage wires to a height of 1.7m. We have some smaller areas with other types, including bushvine and ‘Hermitage’ (or vine by pole) systems.

We hope to achieve more natural, well balanced vineyards
and ultimately, better quality wines.


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KEERMONT VINEYARDS, UPPER BLAAUWKLIPPEN ROAD, STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA   TEL + 27 (0)21 880 0397   MAIL info@keermont.co.za