Wildekrans, in the picturesque Bot River Valley has all the key components to produce grapes of the highest possible quality.

The estate comprises around 1000 hectares and was originally established as a mixed farming operation. Today Wildekrans still produces export quality fruit, but wine has become both a passion and a priority in more recent years. The first of the present vineyards were planted in 1982 and the new wine cellar was built. From 1997, new vineyards comprising over 40 hectares were planted, including 30 hectares of plums and pears, as well as 14 hectares of olives. The owners have, with great pride and joy, restored every building on the farm, some having been in ruins and dating back over 150 years.

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Barrel Select Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017

CHENIN BLANC

The Winemaker and Viticulturist

Braam Gericke

Braam Gericke has worked at Wildekrans since 2008. He has been in the farming industry all his life. His family comes from George, where his father and grandfather were both farmers, and his family still farms in George and Riversdal. He matriculated in 1996 from Boland Agricultural High School in Paarl. Thereafter he obtained a Certificate in Agricultural Management from the University of Stellenbosch. He has also done a few short courses, including Garagiste Winemaking (Introduction and Advanced), and is currently studying towards his Winemaking Diploma from the University of Stellenbosch.

In simple terms, Braam’s role at Wildekrans can be described as getting the balance just right, meaning that the balance when looking at production, planning, forecasts, HR, markets and then needing to make adaptations when things happen that have not been planned for. He feels that he is like the chameleon that goes to his friend’s party, only to realise, on arrival, that his friend has in fact invited the whole animal kingdom. He has to adapt and implement best practices in order to create a product that shows the true character of Wildekrans Estate.

One of his best achievements was to be selected as a finalist for two years in a row at the Agri Western Cape Young Farmer of the Year competition. His biggest achievement is to be part of this team working for Wildekrans Wine Estate. This is not only a job, but a dream for any viticulturist and with hard work has paid some dividends over the last few years (locally and internationally). He says he cannot describe this feeling… except to say that it is awesome!

Cellar team

Chenin blanc vineyard planted in 1982