When we started our wine business, purchasing grapes instead of owning vineyards was seen as innovative and an unusual winemaking practice for individual winemakers. Jeremy was prompted to take this step by winemaker friend Neil Ellis who is recognized as one of the first vintners of the modern era in South Africa to establish a brand of wine made from bought-in grapes. This strategy enabled us to source the best fruit from prime vineyards in the Stellenbosch region for the production of the early vintages of Grangehurst wines.
In 2000, in partnership with Dr John Hill, we bought a 13-hectare Stellenbosch farm “Avondson” and renamed it Sunset Vineyard. In 2002, after doing the necessary research and soil preparation, 6 hectares of the classic Bordeaux variety Cabernet Sauvignon were planted here. Since the 2005 vintage the Sunset Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, together with Pinotage, Merlot, Shiraz, Petit Verdot and Roobernet from other prime vineyards in the Stellenbosch region, have provided the winery with the grapes required to produce our range of classically styled wines.
The ages of the vineyards we utilise vary from about 12 to 25 years. The vines are grown as bush vines as well as trellised vineyards and grow in soils that vary from the sandy, gravely soils of Firgrove, to the Hutton and Clovelly soils of the Helderberg, to the deep, high potential Tukulu and Oakleaf soils of Sunset Vineyard.
The climate in the “coastal region” of Stellenbosch is similar to the Mediterranean climate of some of the great vineyards of Europe as well as certain parts of California, Chile and Australia. Within the region of Stellenbosch, one also finds varying microclimates, specific to each vineyard. These microclimates are influenced by the proximity to the ocean, as well as the altitudes and aspects of the individual sites.
The variations in location, soil, microclimate and vineyard practices contribute to the complexity and fascination of our wines.