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Piekenierskloof, South Africa

Nestled in the Citrusdal Mountains, some 50 km north of Swartland, is the magnificent Piekenierskloof plateau, the area provides the perfect environment for vine cultivation, and is home to the eponymously named Piekenierskloof Wine Company.

First settled by Dutch soldiers ‘Piekeniers’ deployed from the Cape to explore the unknown Olifants River region, the area today is famous for citrus production, but more importantly for us, this is ‘Grenache HQ’, boasting one of the largest Grenache plantings in the Cape. Piekenierskloof’s dry-land vines, grow in sandy loam soils at an altitude of 650m to 700m and have stood the test of time, consistently bearing small bunches of intense, densely structured and highly flavoured grapes, worthy of preserving. Un-grafted bush vines planted in the 1950s are still used in the production of Piekenierskloof wines, giving them immense character, intensity and authenticity. Under the watchful eye of winemaker, Hendrien Vercueil, Piekenierskloof Wines continue to produce award- winning Rhône-style wines of exceptional quality.


At 750 meters above sea level, the plateau’s climate is characterised by warm days and cool nights, which allow grapes to slowly ripen and develop complex fruit flavours. Vineyards grow on the west and east-facing slopes on both sides of a valley that winds its way in a north-south direction. The vines are planted in Tafelberg Sandstone soils and give a sense of perfume and minerality to the wines. The vineyards also sit at 700m above sea- level which has a tremendous impact on the cool-down effect during hot summers and subsequently creates wines with lots of fresh fruit and berry flavours. Piekenierskloof is synonymous with the varietal Grenache, with the most planted and oldest Grenache vines in South Africa. Grenache reaches its pinnacle of quality when the vines reach maturity and it’s a variety which is extremely water-wise in that it closes its stomata far earlier than other varietals during a heat wave and therefore needs far less moisture to maintain itself. You could say that Grenache is the camel of wine grape varietals!

  • Settled by Dutch soldiers ‘Piekeniers’ who were deployed from the Cape to explore the unknown Olifants River region and to protect travellers crossing the Piekenierskloof mountain range.
  • Dubbed the ‘Grenache HQ’, Piekenierskloof boasts one of the largest Grenache plantings in the Cape.
  • Extensive plantings of old vine, ungrafted bush vines which have stood the test of time and deliver exceptional Rhone style, yet undeniably South African wines.