Inspired by the beauty of the valley and partly by the name of the farm, my Dad and Mom purchased Chimanimani, in Devon Valley outside Stellenbosch, in 1964. Small in size but big in character, Chimanimani was at that time planted with table grapes (Alphonse Lavalle, Waltham Cross, Prune de Cazoule, Barlinka, White Prince and others), Golden King plums and wine grapes (Cinsaut colloquially known as Hermitage and Chenin Blanc colloquially known as Steen). While only 6 ha in size, it enjoyed a 90 ton KWV quota.
The vineyards and orchards have progressively been replanted with noble wine cultivars, predominantly red. Current cultivars include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and remnant Chenin Blanc from an old vineyard. Crop yields are restricted to 6 – 12 t/ha depending on cultivar.
Over the years the wine grapes were sold to KWV, Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, Distell and J C le Roux. Curtailed purchases by these larger wine producers has necessitated the sale of grapes to smaller estates in recent years.
In 2006 we started producing our own wine from small tonnages of grapes from selected vineyard rows. Not being qualified winemakers, our philosophy was to have the best possible wine made from our grapes rather than make our best attempt to produce wine. Fortunately Martin Meinert, a reputable vintner in the valley, was willing to make small volumes of wine on our behalf and did so until he sold the farm in 2016. Since then, Danie Steytler of Kaapzicht has made our Chenin Blanc and Nicky Claasens of Vriesenhof has made our red wines. In 2018, Jacques de Klerk of Radford Dale made us one barrel of Pinot Noir and has done so each year since then.
Presently our range of wines include the following:
- Cabernet Sauvignon: 2015, 2014 and 2013
- Shiraz: 2015 and 2014
- Ensemble (Cabernet Sauvignon 60% & Shiraz 40%): 2015, 2014 and 2013
- Dry Red: 2016 and 2013
- Pinot Noir: 2018 and 2013
- Chenin Blanc: 2020
The 2017 and 2018 red vintages have been bottled, while the 2019 and 2020 red vintages are maturing in French Oak barrels.