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 recently. In 2016, Danie Steytler of Kaapzicht made our Chenin Blanc and in 2017 Nicky Claasens of Vriesenhof made our red wines. Presently our range of wines include the following:
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, 2010 and 2011
- Shiraz 2009 and 2010
- Ensemble (Cabernet Sauvignon 60% Shiraz 40%) 2009, 2010 and 2011
- Dry Red 2011 and 2013
- Pinot Noir 2013 and 2015
- Chenin Blanc 2016
We have in recent years submitted wines to the WineStyle People’s Choice competition and were really happy with the success achieved:
- Shiraz 2009 Double Gold
- Shiraz 2010 Gold
- Ensemble 2009 Gold
- Ensemble 2010 Silver
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Silver
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Silver
Unfortunately this competition is no longer run and we will look at other opportunities for small producers.
The 2014, 2015 and 2016 red vintages have been bottled, while the 2017 and 2018 red vintages are maturing in French Oak barrels.