April 2023

As the 2023 harvest season draws to a close, it is an opportune time to reflect on the conditions and factors that have affected this year’s crop.

At Ernie Els, we believe that great wines start in the vineyard. Our viticulturist, Leander Koekemoer, and legendary winemaker, Louis Strydom, can often be seen wandering the Helderberg slopes ensuring our vines are in great shape.

After a warmer winter over the growing period with marginally fewer cold blocks than in previous years, the increased wind flow from the Atlantic Ocean, combined with light showers before the festive season, did a great job at keeping temperatures steady over the summer and producing lush canopies.

Harvest officially began with our highest blocks of Merlot on the 16th of February and we continued steadily down the slopes making our way across the farm to our Cinsault, Grenache and Shiraz.

Our prized Cabernet Sauvignon was left to hang till last, allowing further maturation, which is not uncommon for the varietal due to its small berry size and tight clustered growth formation. These Cabernet grapes have grown favourable thick skins and are set to produce another outstanding vintage.

Despite industry predictions of a smaller yield this year, the Helderberg slopes maintained their quantity, and credit must go to Leander and his team – the grapes that arrived at the cellar were of impeccable quality despite this year’s challenging harvest conditions which saw intermittent rain throughout the season.

With majority of the hand-picking complete, the focus in March fell on cooling, destalking and hand-sorting, before pressing and punch downs could begin.

An equally important but often disregarded step in the winemaking process involves the post-harvest composting phase. At the winery, we like to repurpose the grape skins and stalks into nutrient rich, natural fertiliser which will keep the land nourished and ready to withstand the upcoming winter season.

We should also mention that we are extremely grateful to have back-up power systems in place to counteract the national loadshedding, an added variable that left many farms across the country under strain.

The majority of the 2023 grapes shall spend a minimum of three to five years maturating before they reach our palates, but one can be rest assured that the 2023 vintage will be a worthwhile addition to your own vinothéque!

Worth The Wait

We are thrilled to announce that in March our 2013 Ernie Els Signature was awarded the best wine overall in The Amorim 10-Year-Old Wine Report by Winemag, with an outstanding score of 94 points!

The award was an excellent demonstration of our Signature blend’s ability to gracefully age for a decade or more. The recent introduction of traditional fermentation vessels in the cellar, including Nico Velo concrete tanks and terracotta amphoras, serve to further enhance our winemaking methods by focusing on natural insulation and minimal yeast aggravation – factors which are known to improve the ageing potential and flavour profile of wines by lengthening the structure and adding ample depth.

With auspicious beginnings as our maiden vintage in 2000, the 10-year-old iconic Bordeaux-style blend is comprised of the classic cultivars grown exclusively on the property: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

It’s available from our online shop in a beautifully-presented vertical gift pack, which includes the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Signature vintages.
Delivery is free for all SA residents.

Trading Times – Easter Weekend

We are looking forward to welcoming you to our winery over the Easter Weekend. We will be closed on Good Friday, the 7th April and will reopen on Saturday, the 8th April for the remainder of the long weekend.

Our restaurant will remain closed on Monday, the 10th April, but head chef, Wesley Aucamp, and his team will be firing up the Grillworks, serving a variety of light meals to be enjoyed on the terrace.

We will also be open on Thursday, the 27th April, as well as Monday, the 1st May.Bookings are essential for the Restaurant and for larger groups in the Tasting Room. To book, kindly contact us on 021 881 3588 or email [email protected].

Mother’s Day

Celebrate the remarkable women in your life by joining us for our annual Mother’s Day Lunch.

Make the day truly unforgettable with an afternoon of fabulous farm-style cuisine, award-winning wines and stunning panoramic views of the Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountains. We’re treating all extraordinary mothers a complimentary glass of wine and a special Mother’s Day treat which is sure to delight the senses.

Bookings are essential and a R100 deposit per person will be required in order to reserve your spot.

To book, kindly contact us on 021 881 3588 or email [email protected] Alternatively, you can make a booking via our website with Dineplan.

London Wine Fair

Calling all those across the pond! Whilst we are adjusting to colder conditions and misty mountain views at the farm, our wines will be seeking warmer weather in the northern hemisphere.

We are pleased to announce that we will be attending London Wine Fair on the 15th to the 17th of May.

This is an exciting opportunity to network with international industry professionals and showcase our fabulous new vintages!

Register online to attend and visit us on stand B60.

Cheers for now!
Ernie Els Wines