Filia – Latin for daughter – is the name I have chosen for the wines I craft from my ancestral parcel of the Paardeberg. I was born here, raised here, travelled the world, and have now returned to the soil my grandfather and father tilled before me to craft wine.

The Paardeberg, or ‘horse mountain’, as it was named by the first European settlers in the Swartland due the abundance of Cape Mountain Zebra that grazed the fynbos thickets on the slopes of this granitic outcrop jutting upward from the verdant rolling hills of wheat fields, which today form the ‘bread basket’ of the Cape and the epicentre of old vine winemaking.

The Vineyards

Nuwedam Farm, is situated in the Paardeberg, just off the R45 outside Malmesbury, and is the Chevallerie owned corner of some unique Swartland terroir – purchased by our father, Juergen von La Chevallerie in 1956.

Old Chenin Blanc bush vines, yielding the clusters of fruit for my Kap Klassiek were planted by him in 1976. At an altitude of 330 m the vines are planted on a north-northeastern facing slope, which means that they have no respite from the merciless summer sun which bakes the Swartland during the summer. These old vines rely here solely on the winter rains and the minimal stores of subterranean water that lies deep beneath the surface.

However, the elevation, the clay content of the soils, the frequent summer showers and an almost clockwork breeze which tumbles down the Paardeberg during the summer months significantly cools the vines creating the ideal micro-climate for the fruit to ripen optimally. Vineyards are all dry-land farmed and we apply environmentally friendly farming to ensure continued health of these old bush vines and the surrounding environment – as healthy soils, provide healthy vines.

Production from these old vines is extremely low; they only produce as much fruit as they are “comfortable with” and for the past few years, that has meant a meager yield of 1.2 tons/hectare (9hℓ/ha). However, the fruit these vines produce possess an exceptional richness, complexity and depth of flavour – even though the fruit is harvested at relatively low sugar levels, the inherent Chenin richness comes to the fore.