Stellenbosch, South Africa
Sustainable wines crafted as a finely-cut diamond
Founded in 1812, Remhoogte (Dutch for ‘Brake Heights’) is situated on the steep South Western slopes of the famous Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch. Remhoogte’s history starts with the discovery of one of the largest diamonds ever found on the earth on the estate’s land. The diamond was named the Remhoogte and purchased by none else than the Queen of England. The diamond is now firmly set in the Queen’s crown and part of the history of the Commonwealth and the British link with South Africa.
It was the Remhootge diamond that changed the family’s trajectory, providing them with the initial capital to start their winemaking venture. This is a true family business now run by second generation brothers Chris – the estate’s winemaker – and Rob, who took over the running of the business from their parents Murray and Juliet Boustred.
The complex Remhoogte soils are over 250 million years old, some of the oldest of any wine region in the world, resulting in wines rich in character and authenticity with a unique sense of place. With the soils, slopes and terroir being perfectly suited for the production of top end red wines the focus is on Bordeaux varietals as well as South Africa’s own Pinotage. On the white wines the focus is on old Chenin Blanc vines, a cultivar that performs incredibly well in this region.
Chris’ approach is minimalist, trying to intervene as little as possible for the full and natural expression of the grape’s potential. Everything in the vineyard, from pruning to harvesting, is done by hand. In the cellar only wild and naturally occurring yeasts are used for fermentation, the wines are not fined or filtered and only a small amount of SO2 is added prior to bottling. Chris says that his goal is to ‘facilitate the production’, rather than manufacturing, wine, allowing each bottle to unlock the experience of a specific time and place.
Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa
Viticultural standards: members of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative and of the Integrated Production of Wine Scheme
Our pick of the best wine from this producer: ‘Free to Be’ Chenin Blanc
Interesting fact: Remhoogate is fully commited to sustainability, having set aside 30% of the estate and commited it to the Western Capes indigenous flora and fauna.