By a series of geographical accidents the 14,400 hectare farm, the majority of which is stony desert or savannah grassland, includes a geological fault and the green splash of a natural oasis that is near perfect terroir. Five springs provide copious quantities of pure water, the mountains shield the earth from the harsh desert wind and the alkaline soil is perfect for vines. Nevertheless, the grapes have to be harvested in the early hours, before they become too warm.
The cellar itself was built by Allan, using local materials such as stone, sand and wood from the area and using local builders who knew how to build with these materials. The building of the cellar has a very small carbon footprint as minimal transport was used in the building process.
The unique wine making process can be condensed as follows:
- Vines are planted and nurtured over a period of 2-3 years to produce the first crop, which is hand harvested.
- The harvested grapes are fermented using a process known as whole berry maceration, which ensures low tannin levels and a softness in the bouquet.
- The malelactic fermentation process is carefully conducted with regular testing by South African laboratories to ensure completeness an timeous stabilisation by means of sulfur dioxide.
- Either during the process of malelactic or prior thereto the wine is filled into french oak barrels using a gentle non-bruising technique.
- No filtration takes place as the wine is aged on the lees and the wine is racked off barrels into freshly rinsed receiving barrels.
- The wine is regularly tested by laboratories in South Africa to ensure adequate monitoring of the aging process (during the time of aging the temperature in the winery is carefully monitored).
- The expertise of the oenological adviser is critical during this stage and is meticulously followed.
- Confirmation by the laboratories relating to the wine stabilisation level leads to the bottling process.
- The bottling takes place using controlled low pressure hand filling methods.
- Natural corks imported from Spain that have been guarantied/inspected by the suppliers, are used in the bottling process.
- As per the the recommendation of the environmentalist from Switzerland, the bottles are not sealed with foil or plastic capsule, but by means of a bio-degradable wax from France.
- The bottled wine is stored in a cool environment for a period of up to 6 months before being labelled, packaged and sold.