The Fleur du Cap country estate is situated along the banks of the Lourens River near the town of Somerset West, some thirty kilometres southeast of Cape Town, in the valley separating the Hottentots-Holland from the Helderberg Mountains.
(See also Encounter Magazine's comprehensive guide on South African Wine Routes.
In 1700, Fleur du Cap formed part of a vast farm called Groenedal, granted to Willem Adriaan van der Stel, governor of the Cape of Good Hope. He planted a large variety of crops, of which the most important was 500 000 vines.
Today, Fleur du Cap's stately manor house stands proudly in its magnificent parklike grounds. More than 70 tree species from around the world, including a 300 year old cork oak, flourish in this beautiful setting. On this country estate, Fleur du Cap's noble wines are born.
For it is here that the Bergkelder from Stellenbosch has its own rootstock mother plantation, with over 11 000 rootstock vines. These phylloxere-free vines are the root material onto which noble cultivars are grafted.
Selected Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage and Shiraz clones are grafted on the rootstock vines, which are then planted out in carefully selected vineyard sites in the premium winegrowing areas of the Western Cape. These sites, situated mainly in the Stellenbosch, Durbanville and Paarl districts, are chosen by The Bergkelder's viticulturists in accordance with the soil and climatic conditions optimally suited to the particular requirements of each clone. The prevalent moderate climate ensures adequate rainfall, while the soils, ranging from sandy chalk-loam to gravel, granite and Table Montain sanstone, provide an ideal growth medium.
The selected vineyards are closely montitored by the viticulturists regarding viticultural pracatices such as topping, trellising, pruning and pest and disease control. Even yields are controlled to ensure optimum quality.
These high quality yields are vinified at The Bergkelder's winery in Stellenbosch, one of the most technologically advanced in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, Fleur du Cap's white and red wines are made, blended and bottled with the utmost care, using sate-of-the-art winemaing techniques.
The wines are cellared under optimum conditions in The Bergkelder's underground maturation cellar where temperature and humidity are constantly controlled.
The Bergkelder's comitment to quality, from the rootstock through the vineyards and from the cellar to the bottle, ensures that Fleur du Cap wines continue to garner national and international awards, year after year.