A farm since 1776, the Boekenhoutskloof located near the Franschhoek foothills. In 1993 it was sold to the present owners, and since then has undergone a process of replanting with some common varieties of grape, including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Viognier and Sémillon. At the moment, the majority of these vines are just too young to produce enough wine, and so the Boekenhoutskloof wine maker uses grapes from nearby vineyards in order to ensure that his wines are of the best quality. Since the new replanting process, the Boekenhoutskloof has produced a number of top wines, and more is to be expected once their own plants come into maturity.
The planting of the vines in Boekenhoutskloof has been extensive, with the most common plants being the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, along with Cabernet Blanc. Mouvédre is planted in one or two locations, along with Viognier and Grenache. This suggests that, in years to come, the vines will be producing considerable amounts of grapes, ensuring that Boekenhoutskloof estate can make its own wines in the future. This complete replanting is encouraging for wine producers all over South Africa, since it demonstrates that some farmers are still interested in growing vines.
The Boekenhoutskloof wine estate uses a symbol of a woman as its figurehead. Modelled on an early hallmark from the Cape of Good Hope, she carries a dove, and to the estate owners represents the standard of good quality in their wines. The area around Boekenhoutskloof is a conservation area, and the estate regularly removes alien plants, and has helped to restore the mountains as they should be, including the re-introduction of plant species which were once native to the area. All of this gives the impression of a wine estate which is going places.
This impression is also increased by the high standard of signature wines that Boekenhoutskloof estate delivers. The Wolftrap is just one example of this standard, and is named after an ancient wolftrap which was found on the estate (it works very well, as there are no wolves in Boekenhoutskloof). The 2010 version of this wine is a blend of Shiraz, Mouvédre and Viognier, all vines which have been planted on the estate. This looks good, as it suggests that the Wolftrap will be an ongoing signature wine which can easily be recognised.
Perhaps the single wine which Boekenhoutskloof is most noted for is The Chocolate Block. Produced by their expert wine-maker, Marc Kent, is now a partner in the business, and they made the right choice, because he can pull a simply amazing wine from any batch of grapes he is given. Marc is a regular visitor to France, but his Chocolate Block is something that has been made up by himself. This blend of beautiful red wines is sweet and succulent, with a hint of chocolate that gives the vintage its name. This wine has been given several awards, and is considered by wine experts to be one of the best wines grown, made and matured in South Africa.