Graham Knox

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Expanding north and east

Snow in Stellenbosch? Not in the next million years. But Stellenbosch is no longer the whole world for Cape wines. This is one of three new vineyards on the Klondyke Cherry Farm on the Matroosberg north east of Ceres.
The Garlick family have planted Riesling, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc to take advantage of the new appetite for genuinely premium grapes that has taken twenty years to show. The 2019 crop from this block will be delivered to the Nederberg cellar in Paarl.
Though snow falls at this 1200m altitude every winter, the deep carpet seen in the Sauvignon Blanc block in July 2018 was sufficiently unusual to bring thousands of Capetonians up into the mountains, a three hour trip.
The Ceres plantings are just one the tentacles of the expanding South African footprint, forced by the price depression encountered by growers of grapes in the traditional higher volume areas. It doesn’t mean that the total vineyard area is growing larger, For every pioneer vineyard, one or even two established blocks will be removed and lost forever.
Any location that indicates an ultra premium opportunity is a clue to the holy grail. And expansion into low-priced real estate brings an additional benefit, at least for the moment. The next 10 years are going to be exciting.

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