STELLENBOSCH BOASTS THE BIGGEST & OLDEST WINE ESTATES IN THE CAPE
Formed in 1971, The Stellenbosch Wine Route is a bucket-list destination for international tourists and South African holiday goers alike. Home to over 200 wine estates, the route is made up of five sub-routes, divided according to wine styles, climate and location. These include the Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Berg, Helderberg, Stellenbosch Valley and Bottelary Hills.
The Quoin Rock Wine Estate is part of the Greater Simonsberg wine route. Only five kilometres from the heart of Stellenbosch, the area is home to a variety of fauna and floral species.
There are 148 wine estates near Stellenbosch that you can visit in total. Many of them are home to historical farms with beautiful Cape Dutch manors houses, impressive landscaped gardens, luxury hotels and world-class restaurants such as Gåte, the fine-dining restaurant on the Quoin Rock Wine state.
WINE ESTATES NEAR STELLENBOSCH ARE HOME TO NEARLY 15 0660 HECTARES OF VINES
The gently rolling hills of Stellenbosch are covered in the finest Western Cape vineyards. From Helderberg in the south to the lower slopes of Simonsberg Mountain in the north, the exposed hills and sheltered valleys of this unique terrain allows for the cultivation of all sorts of grape varieties.
STELLENBOSCH HAS THE IDEAL CLIMATE TO GROW GRAPES
The Western Cape vineyards have been blessed with the perfect grape-growing climate. Stellenbosch is hot and dry in summer and the winters are wet and cool. Depending on the soil, some producers irrigate their vineyards and some choose not to. The surrounding mountains give the vineyards varying degrees of exposure to wind and sun.
A cool breeze comes from False Bay in the afternoons, which helps to slow the ripening process, creating intense fruit flavours in the grapes. Because of this, white-wine varieties are often planted closer to the ocean where this effect is more pronounced. Quoin Rock’s 2018 Namysto Sauvignon Blanc, for example, is made from grapes planted high up on the Simonsberg mountain to benefit from the sea breeze.
CABERNET SAUVIGNON IS THE MOST PLANTED GRAPE VARIETY ON WINE ESTATES NEAR STELLENBOSCH
Because of the hot, dry climate, wine estates near Stellenbosch are ideal for producing premium red-wine grapes and Cabernet Sauvignon is the region’s most widely planted grape variety. It is often combined with Merlot to create Bordeaux Blend wines. A Bordeaux red blend is made from a combination of two or more of the classic Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmenère and Malbec.
Quoin Rock’s 2015 Red Blend was made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Our winemaker, Schalk Opperman, crushed and fermented individual grape parcels in open-top stainless-steel tanks before transferring them to French oak barrels where they were left to mature for 20 months.
Our red blend is a wine with a layered red fruit profile. Cranberry comes through strongly on the nose followed by a complex, dense, juicy celebration of fruit, wood, red-berry and tomato, creating the perfect marriage between Old and New World.
STELLENBOSCH IS WHERE PINOTAGE WAS BORN!
Born in 1925 from a crossing of the Pinot Noir and Cinsault wine grape varieties, pinotage is now the second most widely planted red grape variety in South Africa and South Africa’s signature variety. It was created by Professor Abraham Izak Perold, the first professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University. Sixteen years later, Charl Theron de Waal (known as CT de Waal), produced the first barrel of Pinotage wine on a Western Cape vineyard in Stellenbosch.
NEARLY ALL VINES GROWN IN THE WESTERN CAPE GROW IN THE “CAPE FLORAL KINGDOM”
The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest plant areas in the world. Comprising less than 1% of the African continent, it is the smallest and richest of the six floral kingdoms. Seventy percent of the plants that grow in the UNESCO-listed biodiversity hotspot are not found anywhere else in the world. The Region was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004 by UNESCO and it is now a protected area measuring 553 000ha.
Quoin Rock Wine Estate falls into this Cape Floral Kingdom and their fynbos biome is celebrated for its diversity and endemism. The estate’s fine-dining restaurant, Gåte is well-known for making the most of their unique location, and Head Chef Jack Coetzee loves to showcase innovative dishes inspired by the unique flavours of his surroundings.
95% OF WINE ESTATES NEAR STELLENBOSCH FOLLOW SUSTAINABLE WINEGROWING AND WINEMAKING PRINCIPLES
Another interesting fact you may not know about wine estates near Stellenbosch is that over 95% of the wines produced in this Western Cape town are committed to sustainable, eco-friendly wine production.
In 2010 the country launched the integrity and sustainability ‘seal’ – a label that appears on each container of wine to certify three things; the wine has been produced sustainably, it was bottled in the country and that it is 100% South African. Quoin Rock is proud to subscribe to these principles.
THE MOST PLANTED WHITE GRAPE IN WESTERN CAPE VINEYARDS IS CHENIN BLANC
Chenin Blanc is a white wine grape variety originating from the Loire Valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines and it is the most widely planted variety in South Africa. Historically, it is also known as “Steen”, and the grape may have been one of the first to be grown in South Africa by Jan van Riebeeck in 1655.
Quoin Rock’s sister farm, Knorhoek Wine Estate, is well-known for their 2019 Chenin Blanc. A well-balanced wine with hints of lime, pineapple and gooseberry. Fermentation of this easy-drinking white took place in a combination of concrete eggs and French oak barrels and blending was done after seven months’ maturation.