Hailing from the vineyards of Du Toit Family Wines, Knolfontein is a boutique range that reflects heritage, excellence and unique expression of the place where the vineyards thrive.
The farm lies in the Riebeek Valley, in the foothills of Kasteelberg, Where the soils and climate have proven over generations their suitability for producing outstanding fruit. They are the reason some of the country’s premier wineries may be found in the region.
‘My family has always farmed grapes here,’ owner Pieter du Toit, a fourth-generation wine grower, says. ‘In fact, there were vineyards on the farm when my Great Grandfather bought the land in 1907.’
‘Even back then, the fruit was sought-after, and I became accustomed to that status as we sold our grapes over the years. The time has come to give them their own identity and label.’
One year in the late 1990s, South Africa claimed three gold medals at the Chardonnay du Monde competition, says Pieter. One of them went to a wine made from Knolfontein fruit.
‘In 1998, my father won the prize for the region’s best vineyard block. A decade later, I did the same. To me, this affirms how a high standard of viticulture over many years continues to lead to outstanding quality in grapes.’
Each wine is a mirror of its environment and history. The vineyards from which the Chenin blanc is made, for example, are 30-year-old bush vines. Like the entire 480ha farm of which 140ha comprise vineyards, they benefit from the slightly higher winter rainfall that comes with being closer to the mountain.
For his launch, Pieter has focused on three single cultivar wines dedicated to those for which the Swartland is most renowned – Shiraz, Chenin blanc and Cinsaut. Beyond the name, the history is in the walls of the farm buildings themselves. The tasting room is built in what used to be the farm’s wine cellar – a building estimated to have been built in the mid-1800s.
Visitors can experience it first-hand by booking tastings hosted by Pieter himself. Available by appointment, Pieter hosts groups of up to 10 people on Saturdays.
Along with the wines, the experience sees Pieter grill and serve a generous “plankie” steak snack platter (with secret dipping sauce!), served up inside the historic building or out in the courtyard.