Wildekrans Wine Estate has been under the ownership of the Harlow family since 2007 and has accumulated a number of local and international awards to date. The farm is situated in what is considered to be one of South Africa’s most exciting new wine producing areas, the recently proclaimed Bot River Ward. Both the vineyards and the accommodation quarters have recently undergone an intensive programme of restoration and renewal. So successful were these upgrades that Wildekrans was awarded the 2012 Wine Estate of the Year accolade by the Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards.
The cool Atlantic sea winds and lean soils allow the grapes to reach optimal ripeness while imparting the characteristic cool climate aromatic profile that Wildekrans wines are renowned for. Head viticulturist Braam carefully selects the sites which results in strict canopy management and yield control, all combined with cutting edge technology.
Wildekrans’ endeavours are underpinned by its commitment to environmental issues at all times. The Wildekrans estate forms part of the Green Mountain Eco Route, a group of local wine farms and other attractions committed to conservation, sustainability and upliftment. As members of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, the estate is currently conducting a count of birds and other wildlife, which occur naturally on the farm.
Our oldest vines are Chenin and Sauvignon Blanc and were planted in 1982 when it was noticed how beneficial the range of natural elements around the estate would assist in producing top quality wines. All of these enable us to optimise the terroir and grow a wide range of cultivars. We grow 10 different cultivars on the various slopes and in different soil types found on the farm.
Through careful vineyard management and because Braam Gericke, our viticulturist has always had the basics right, little intervention is using modern techniques is needed to produce optimum quality grapes.
The cooling winds off Walker Bay facilitate a longer ripening period, this turn helps produce grapes that are full of flavour, perfect in acidity balance and the breeze also enables optimal harvesting for our white wines.
The prevailing South Easter encourages smaller berries on the Pinotage vines which results in a beautiful deep colour and high flavour.
Quality of berries and not quantity is what we strive for, picking only an average of five tons per hectare. This ensures the grapes delivered to the cellar are perfect for making wine.
Our gentle approach to wine making is evident in the number of high quality, multiple award winning wines we are producing at Wildekrans. The superb terroir we have in which to grow our grapes provides us with juices that do not need forcing in a particular direction to reach desired styles of wines. Instead, our wines follow a fairly natural path to maturation with minimal manipulation by our wine maker William Wilkinson.
Our premium white wines being the Chenin Blanc Barrel Select Reserve (BSR) and Sauvignon Blanc BSR, are made from free run juices and the Chenin is matured in new oak barrels for between ten and twelve months.
The much desired Wildekrans Methode Cap Classique is made from juices produced by “whole bunch pressing”. It undergoes its’ first fermentation in tanks and the second in the bottle. It takes approximately six months before the bottles can be de-gorged, labeled and offered for sale. Always a good moment in the cellar!
Special attention is paid to our flagship wines the Pinotage BS. We take enormous pride in producing one of the country’s top wines from this uniquely South African cultivar. This wine is also made from free run juices and matured in a combination of French and American oak barrels for eighteen months.