Ideal climate is complemented by ancient soils especially suited to creating expressive wines set among a wilderness conservancy.
Over half of the De Rust Estate, home of Paul Clüver Family Wines, enjoys officially mandated conservation status. The 72ha under vines are thus part of a natural ecosystem on the edge of Elgin’s Groenlandberg. Vineyards grow at between 290m and 435m above sea-level in a cool climate known for the stark temperature differentiation between days and nights. Soil types are hardy Bokkeveld shale with an underbed of water-retaining clay.
Among the 72ha of vineyards forming Paul Clüver Family Vines are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, all four varieties pioneered in the Elgin valley by Dr Paul Clüver since 1987. It was, in fact, the ideal climate and soil conditions of Elgin that led to Dr Clüver being approached by South African wine industry representatives to initiate viticulture in the region. Elgin’s unique geographical feature as a wine growing region is that at only 20km from the Atlantic Ocean and vineyards planted to over 430m the terroir combines both maritime and continental features. Cold, wet winters with an average 700mm rainfall allow vines to enter a revitalising state of dormancy. Summers are cool and mild with a dramatic diurnal temperature differentiation allowing for optimal slow ripening, energetic acids and visceral varietal expression. Since the first vines were planted in 1987, time has shown that Paul Clüver Family Wines is especially suited for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and this is now the focus of the estate’s wine offering. These vineyards are planted on separate parcels of soils selected to offer the fruit nuances the winemaker requires to create the wine selection, with regenerative agriculture ensuring soil health further ensures grape quality and resulting wine excellence.