Theuniskraal Wine Estate
Wine Theuniskraal Estate
Theuniskraal was one of the earliest farms to be established in the Tulbagh Valley and owes its name to Theunis Bevernagie, who settled on the farm in the early 18th century. The estate is situated between two mountain ranges, the Witzenberg and the Winterhoek, guarding over the tranquil flow of the Klein Berg River.
The year 1927 heralded a new era for the farm when Theuniskraal was bought by the Jordaan family with the specific intention of producing high quality wines. One of the sons, Andries, was tutored by Frankie Myburgh, later resident winemaker at the KWV, and who's knowledge of winemaking was legendary. Andries's first attempt at making sweet fortified wines was a huge success as these were snapped up by the London merchants of Burgoynes. Andries was a man of foresight, though, for he knew that in this valley quality Rieslings could be grown. He extended his Riesling plantings and in 1948 bottled his first Theuniskraal Riesling. It was an immediate success. One of the glowing achievements of this this Cape Riesling followed two year later, when Theuniskraal Riesling won a Gold medal at the Half Century Common Wealth Wine Show in 1950.
Brothers and sons
In 1964, Andries was succeeded by his two sons, Kobus and Rennie Jordaan. They continued the tradition of producing top quality Riesling, and added to the estate's portfolio a number of other classic white varieties. In the Theuniskraal tradition of handing down the art of winemaking from generation to generation, the two brothers have been joined in the cellar by their sons, Andries and Wagner.
Where the Riesling grape thrives
When the winter chill sets in, the Winterhoek mountain range is the first to receive snow as its peaks start to turn white. Then temperatures plunge in the valley and it is time for the vines to begin their winter dormancy. This deep winter sleep is essential for the vines to consolidate their reserves in the cold earth, before their period of renewal in spring, a time when the vines will produce new buds. These are ideal conditions for the Riesling grape, and are reminiscent of the winter frosts of Europe, its original home .
Unique growing conditions
To enable the cultivation of certain parts of Theuniskraal, thousands of tonnes of boulders had to be removed or crushed. Never daunted, the Jordaans undertook this gigantic task and, today,the farm's characteristic sandy-rocky soil provides excellent drainage and aeration - ideal for the cultivation of especially Riesling. All the vineyards are trellised on a moveable 4-wire system for better foliage control. This system, together with the shadows cast by the surrounding mountains, ensure cool, slow- ripening conditions.
Specialised Farming Methods
Theuniskraal is a prime example of how natural farming methods and high technology can work hand in hand to bring out the best in the vineyards. Visit the estate during the growing season and you'll be delighted by the sight of a dapper duck brigade patrolling the vineyards to combat snails. At the same time a sophisticated irrigation system supplements the natural rainfall. Fertilisation is computer-controlled, and the estate was one of the first in the Cape to introduce mechanical harvesting.
Dedicated Cellar Practices
Harvesting takes place during the cool of the morning to ensure that the grapes reach the cellar while still crisp and brimming with flavour. In the modern, well-equipped cellar everything possible is done to preserve these precious flavours and enhance the natural quality of the grapes. Thus great emphasis is placed on gentle handling and minimum interference.
The estate's famous flagship is light, crisp and easy drinkable. Best enjoyed young, when the fresh flavours of the variety are pronounced. Rewarding and refreshing on its own, Theuniskraal Riesling is the ideal accompaniment to a wide range of foods, especially seafood, chicken and vegetarian dishes. Chill before serving.
Theuniskraal has of course expanded the range of fine wines over the years and are now offering a classic noble range of fine wines. The Semmilon Chardonay, which is a delicate, medium marriage of two classic white varieties, The Natural Sweet, which is golden hued, with the soft, sunripe richness of Gewurztraminer and Bukettaube, harvested at optimum berry ripeness.and the Prestige Red, which is the Estate's First Red Wine. This Red is lightly Oaked, approachable blend of Rubt Cabernet and Cabernet Sauvinon which is made to be enjoyed young.
Wine tasting and sales are available at the estate, by appointment only. Kindly contact us to arrange a visit.
E-mail Address :
Postal Address :
+27 23 230-0688
+27 23 230-1504
PO Box 34
Republic of South Africa
The estate is one hour from Cape Town. Take the N1 to exit 47, then the R44 to Ceres. Turn left on the R46 to Tulbagh.