We are committed in producing high quality, expressive wines and our terroir together with the passion of our producers, allow us to deliver exceptional wines, vintage after vintage.
The Wellington wine region is situated along the inland border of the coastal wine region, bordered by Paarl to the South West and the Swartland to the North West.
Hugged by the Groenberg, Hawekwa and Limietberg mountain ranges, the area enjoys a variety of slopes and valleys at varying altitudes and aspects. The foothills situated 200m above sea-level, benefit from moist winds that frequently flow down the mountain slopes, cooling down the vineyards on even the hottest day. The small valleys create pockets with unique micro climates with varying sun and wind exposure.
The majority of the vineyards are situated on the foothills of the Hawekwa and Groenberg Mountains where they flourish along the banks of the Kromme River.
The weather is typical Mediterranean with cold and wet winters, and warm and dry summers with adequate rainfall. The occasional snow on the high mountain peaks reduce night temperatures for ample grape resting periods.
The soil types are diverse with excellent water and nutrient retention and comprise mostly of weathered granite, alluvial and shale soils.
Vineyards are trellised to allow as much sunlight exposure whilst the pockets of old dryland bush vines deliver low yields yet small berries with concentrated aromas.
FRANCOIS VAN NIEKERK
Our cellar master, Francois van Niekerk, believes in continuously learning, asking questions, and being curious.
Although Francois first studied Forestry before embarking on Viticulture and Oenology and later on completing an MBA, nature has been at the centre of all his life’s decisions.
Francois grew-up in Jeffreys Bay, the coastal town in the Eastern Cape famed for world-class surfing, and whilst studying at Saasveld Forestry College in George, was intrigued by winemaking through his roommate’s family’s involvement in the industry. He spent a season working at Slanghoek Cellar and the same year ventured to California to complete a harvest in America. He was hooked, and the following year, enrolled at Elsenburg College to study winemaking. His decision to complete his MBA was driven by his thirst for greater insight. Cellars need to be sustainable both in how they make their wine and care for their people, but also economically. The industry is competitive and cellars are focussed on growing their share of the market. With this in mind, Francois wanted to deepened and broaden his insight with unique characteristics that would be invaluable when facing the challenging environment of making and selling wine.
He never tires of the combination of equal parts creativity, science and passion that winemaking evokes. No two harvests are equal and he is energised each year as nature challenges and stretches the industry. A firm believer that nature is the best guide when it comes to viticulture – knowing which cultivars suit which slopes, soil and altitudes best – he revels in the fertile land from which Wellington Wines harvest their grapes and the creativity in producing memorable wines true to origin.
An avid nature explorer, Francois cycles along the mountainous paths of Wellington and enjoys fishing in the nearby dams and rivers.