One of a kind
Nederburg is one of South Africa’s most awarded wineries, with a winning pedigree that stems from a culture of innovation and disciplined attention to detail. Ranked amongst the top 50 most admired brands in the world, the wines produced here echo the legacy of winemaking excellence since 1791.
Once upon a time
It all began with a journey of discovery, with the love of winemaking at its heart. Philippus Wolvaart, a man of courage and vision, bought the farm in the Klein Drakenstein near Paarl in 1791. He named the property Nederburgh in honour of the VOC commissioner, Sebastiaan Cornelius Nederburgh. The ‘h’ was later dropped for the Nederburg we know today. Hand in hand with his wife Margaretha, they nurtured the land and by 1804, Wolvaart had planted 63 000 vines.
He built the Manor House dating back to 1800 with very little resources, travelling two days by cart to Cape Town for building materials and other supplies. The elegant, H-shaped gabled country home in the vernacular Cape Dutch style was declared a National Monument in 1990 and is preserved to this day.
Wolvaart sold the farm in 1810 to Wilhelm Petrus Retief and the Retief family continued to cultivate the land for seven decades. From the late 19th century until shortly before World War II, the farm changed hands several times before Johann Graue acquired the property in 1937, revolutionising winemaking in South Africa with his Innovative methods.
His son, Arnold, continued the prize-winning tradition his father had established. After Arnold’s life was tragically cut short in an airplane crash, Graue appointed Günter Brözel as winemaker. Already a leader since the 1920s, Nederburg’s momentum accelerated under Brözel’s hand. Best known for pioneering noble late harvest wines in South Africa, Günter created his maiden Edelkeur in 1969, and to this day some of his red wines from as far back as the 1960s are still enjoyed all over the world.
He was succeeded by Razvan Macici who for 15 vintages infused everything he did with a contagious sense of curiosity, building both the reputation and award-winning, multi-tiered portfolio of Nederburg wines. Andrea Freeborough was appointed as cellar master in 2015 and continues to build on her predecessors’ impressive track record of accolades.
Nederburg sources grapes from around the Western Cape but primarily from the sunny Paarl region, where the elevated, south-facing granitic slopes of the Simonsberg produce ripe, juicy characteristics. Grapes sourced from cooler-climate vineyards contribute freshness and fruit purity, whilst access to mature vines, some more than 40 years old, lends depth of flavour and complexity to the wines.
After pioneering Elgin as a cool-climate area for grapes nearly 40 years ago and then being amongst the first to source fruit from the maritime Darling and Agulhas regions, Nederburg now also harvests near Ceres, atop the Swaarmoed Pass in the Matroosberg. Situated 1 060 metres above sea level, this is one of the highest-lying vineyard locations in the Western Cape – at times the vines are blanketed in snow. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Riesling vines grow here in sandstone soils, delivering grapes of outstanding quality. The intensity of sunlight at such a high altitude, along with the marked contrast in day and night-time temperatures, results in vibrant colour, while the prevailing south-easterly summer winds cool the grapes for slow-ripened intensity.
Nederburg also works closely with a long-standing network of suppliers, sourcing exceptional grapes from Philadelphia, Durbanville, the lower Olifants River valley on the West Coast and Gansbaai.