Founded by the Frenchman Paul Boutinot, Waterkloof is located in the 'ward' Helderberg, within the Stellenbosch district. The vineyards are located a few kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean. Paul and his right-hand man, Christiaan Loots, work in an organic and biodynamic way and the vineyards are only entered with horses, no tractors. In just a few years, Waterkloof has built up a strong reputation. When you enter the farm you will see the cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens and horses that we use for their manure, weed control and many other purposes. The soils are free of chemicals and are kept healthy by using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from our own natural compost. By healthier soils we mean vines with roots that dig deeper than 5 meters, which really expresses the terroir.
These traditional methods, combined with a breezy southwest vineyard, make for a balanced and naturally low yielding vine that produces intense flavours. The vineyards are located about 5 kilometers from the sea and are planted at an altitude between 270 and 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium sized stones, which aid in drainage and also moisture retention. The vineyards are on average 21 years old.
The winemaking philosophy is the same for all of Waterkloof's premium white wines. They follow a traditional, minimalistic approach, which means we interfere with the winemaking process as little as possible. This allows the flavors prevalent in that particular vineyard to be reflected in the wine. To achieve this, all grapes are harvested for taste, hand-picked, hand-sorted and finally pressed whole bunch in a modern press, so that they can extract the purest juice in the gentlest possible way. The juice is then naturally settled for 24 hours. Because no chemicals are sprayed into the vineyard, the wild yeast can be used to ferment the juice in used 600 liter oak barrels. This leads to a longer fermentation process with a slow release of aromas and a more textured palate. The natural fermentation process took 6 months, after which the wine is allowed to mature for another 2-4 months. No acid or enzymes are added during the winemaking process, with just light filtration and a small minimalistic addition of sulfur as a preservative prior to bottling.