For the love of wine
Although Allesverloren, the oldest wine estate in the Swartland wine district, was christened for a devastating loss, five generations of the Malan family have turned the fate of the farm into prosperity. The vines cascade down the slopes of the Kasteelberg near Riebeek West and produce complex, terroir-driven and internationally award-winning wines.
All is not lost
The winery dates back to somewhere between 1695 and 1704 when Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape, left the farm to a widow named Cloete. One of the first settlers to venture into the inhospitable Swartland region, this courageous woman lived a simple life with only the most basic provisions and equipment.
Isolated and far from the nearest town of Stellenbosch, the family had to endure a long and gruelling wagon journey to attend church or purchase goods. On their return from one such journey in 1704, they found their house burnt to the ground and the farm destroyed. The estate takes its name from this devastating moment and was called “Allesverloren” which means “all is lost”.
Fortunately, the destiny of the farm did not match the curse of its name. By 1806 the first grapes were harvested. Daniël Francois Malan purchased the farm in 1872 and five generations later the estate has grown to 227 hectares under vines with its wines earning international acclaim.
Located in the Riebeekberg ward on the slopes of the Kasteelberg near Riebeek West, the vineyards are situated 170m to 350m above sea-level and thrive in the cold and wet winters and warm, dry summers. The mountain shades the vines from the late afternoon sun and the cool westerly wind allows the grapes to ripen at a leisurely pace, developing concentrated flavour and sugar. The combination of shale and weathered sandstone soils force the roots to incredible depth, resulting in healthy, strong vines that yield wines with intense colour, flavour complexity and exceptional structure.