Charles Back, owner of Spice Route, is one of the pioneers in Swartland. At the end of the 1990s, he found a vineyard with more than thirty-year-old Sauvignon Blanc sticks that produced wine of exceptional quality. Together with winemaker Eben Sadie, he planted new grape varieties around this oldest block of Sauvignon, most of them as freestanding shrubs, so-called 'bush vines'. The base of the winery became an old tobacco barn, which used to be called Klein Amoskuil. Spice Route wines quickly became a success!
A combination of two elements is decisive for the success of these and other producers in this innovative region (there is even talk of a 'Swartland Revolution'). First, the deep soils (weathered granite and 'Coffee Cliff') in which the sticks can root deeply to find water. In addition, the climate with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters.
Eben Sadie started making his own wines in 2002 and the current winemaker of Spice Route, Charl du Plessis, succeeded him. His wines can certainly be called 'different'; for example the juicy Pinotage in which no rubber can be tasted and a very playful and serious blend called Chakalaka (which can be translated as 'leftovers') in which no less than 6 different grapes are processed!