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