Years ago the Piekeniers (Dutch soldiers) were deployed by the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) from the Cape of Good Hope to explore the unknown Olifants River region and to protect travellers crossing the Piekenierskloof mountain ridge. Legend has it that they so enjoyed their independence in the lush Citrusdal valley, that they decided to settle in the region permanently. This is where the Piekenierskloof Wines story begins.
Fondly dubbed the ‘Grenache HQ’ amongst wine lovers, the Piekenierskloof not only boasts one of the largest Grenache plantings in the Cape, but its extensive collection of old, unirrigated bush vine vineyards have stood the test of time and continuously deliver the Greatest-Of-All-Time Rhône-style wines with exceptional taste.
Back in the 1900’s Johan Abraham van Zyl was one of 5 sons from a family in the Citrusdal valley. When the time came for the sons to branch out on their own, they drew lots to determine which brother would have the unnerving task of farming on the untamed and rugged Piekenierskloof Mountain. The lot fell on an unmarried brother who was rescued from this fate by Johan Abraham’s wife, Wilhelmina. Wilhelmina insisted that she and Johan Abraham should rather attend to this daunting task, as the unmarried brother would surely struggle to develop a farm without the support of a wife! As such, Johan Abraham and Wilhelmina settled in the undeveloped, rugged mountain ridge of the Piekenierskloof in 1923 and in 1962 their son, Carel van Zyl, planted the first vineyards in the Piekenierskloof.
Over the past two years Piekenierskloof Wines has racked up more than 70 accolades behind its award-winning wines, but of the more recent acknowledgements, the one that stands out is the highly coveted 2022 London Wine Competition prize for their Bergendal Chenin Blanc 2020, ranked Gold in ‘The Best Wines by Country Award’.
On 18 September 2021 the world was introduced to the newest addition to the Piekenierskloof Wines family, and, if we may say so ourselves, she makes quite the impression.
Back in 2019 Jaco van Niekerk, Cellar
Master & Winemaker at Piekenierskloof
Wine Company, then appointed as such
for a mere two years…
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