PIEKENIERSKLOOF WINE REGION…SOUTH AFRICA
Piekenierskloof is an independent wine ward from the Citrusdal district of the Olifants River region in the Western Cape of South Africa. The region has the ideal climate for the growing of grapes. The district consists of the Olifants River – Citrusdal Mountain, Citrusdal Valley and Lutzville Valley
Piekenierskloof is named after the Dutch piekeniers, or pikemen, who guarded the entrance to the pass in days gone by – and, as anyone who has ever watched a European football game could attest, the Dutch are rather fond of the color orange.
This region stretches in a belt from north to south along the broad valley of the Olifants River. The summers in this valley range from relatively warm to cool compared with some of South Africa’s other wine areas and rainfall is low. Soils vary from sandy to red clay loams. With careful canopy management, which ensures grapes are shaded by the vines’ leaves, combined with modern winemaking techniques, the Olifants River is proving to be a source of quality, affordable wines. The region incorporates the wards of Vredendal and Spruitdrift.
The predominantly citrus-producing Citrusdal valley lies in the southern reaches of the Olifants River valley. The soils are mainly sandy alluvial soils from the surrounding Table Mountain sandstone mountains in the southern part of the valley up until Clanwilliam. Irrigation is obtained from the Clanwilliam dam where the water is of an excellent quality. The area incorporates the higher-lying ward of Piekenierskloof.
The wine regions of South Africa were defined under the “Wine of Origin” (Wyn van Oorsprong) act of 1973. Mirroring the French Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) system, all South African wines listing a “Wine of Origin” must be composed entirely of grapes from its region. The “Wine of Origins” (WO) program mandates how wine regions of South Africa are defined and can appear on wine labels. While some aspects of the WO are taken from the AOC, the WO is primarily concerned with accuracy in labeling. As a result, the WO does not place adjunct regulations on wine regions such as delineating permitted varieties, trellising methods, irrigation techniques, and crop yields.
The WO system divides growing regions into four categories. The largest and most generic are Geographical Units (such as the Western Cape region) which subsume the smaller, but still broad spanning Regions (such as Cape South Coast). Under these are clustered districts (like Walker Bay) and within them are wards (such as Elgin). Although these are geographic units, regions and districts are largely traced by political boundaries (wards are the segment most defined by unique, Terroir characteristics).
Who are Tierhoek Wines?
Welcome to Tierhoek, a distinguished farm of beauty and diversity. Situated high in the peaks (760m) of the Piekenierskloof Mountain, just on the border of the Cederberg. The farm flourishes due to cold, rainy winters and long, warm summers that are cooled down by afternoon Atlantic breezes.
The original Sandveld farm was restored by Tony and Shelley Sandell, and is now most renowned for its world-class wines. In addition, the endemic Buchu and Rooibos teas that grow here are the best that the area has to offer.
Tierhoek was established as a farm in 1886 and is one of the oldest surviving, original Sandveld farms on the West Coast of Africa. This 715ha farm was owned by the Marais family from 1886 to 2001, and is presently owned by Tony and Shelly Sandell.
The Sandells have restored the derelict buildings back into their original Sandveld style, including an old horse mill and horse cart saddlery. A cellar is also being built to accommodate for the 20ha of newly planted vines.
Tierhoek is ideally suited for vineyards. The unique climate, soils and aspect all allow for premium wines that are characterized by intense fruit flavors, backed by subtle mineralogy and fresh acidity.
The flagship is the Chenin Blanc made from low yielding 30 year old trellised vines, which are barrel fermented in French Oak to express the full flavors of this variety, while maintaining complexity and elegance.
Some of these Chenin Blanc grapes are naturally dried off the vine for several weeks then barrel fermented in French Oak to produce Tierhoek straw wine.
Not to be outdone, the Sauvignon Blanc (unwooded) and Grenache Noir are some of the finest examples of their kind in South Africa.
All the Tierhoek wines benefit from ageing in the bottle.
Shelly Sandell…please follow us at: https://www.tierhoek.com or https://www.facebook.com/Piekenierskloof.Mountains/ thank you.
Phone: 021 674 3041
Land Line: 022 125 0249
Mobile: 078 613 7244
Cellar tastings by appointment only.
Thank you, Letha
Letha (Malan) Oelz (You can contact Letha at: firstname.lastname@example.org … please follow me at https://www.finderzkeeperz.co.za/2019/08/20/piekenierskloof-wine-regionsouth-africa/
Copyrighted 2019 / All Rights Reserved Tierhoek Wines / Letha Malan Oelz
Sources, References & Credits: Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Old Wines Project, Wines of South Africa, Tierhoek Wines, Shelly Sandell
Winelands of South Africa / Photo Credit: Wines of South Africa
Tierhoek Vineyard / Photo Credit: Tierhoek Farm
Shelly Sandell Wine Tasting Event / Photo Credit: Tierhoek Wines