Rietvallei Wine Estate counts among South Africa’s oldest family-owned wine estates and was one of the first wine farms established in the picturesque Robertson Wine Valley some 160km north east of Cape Town. Rietvallei lies in the Klaas Voogds ward, a region with unique soil structures and climatic influences ideal for wine grape cultivation, situated some eight kilometers east of Robertson town on the way to the Little Karoo.
Rietvallei Estate is 215 hectares in total size of which 119 hectares are planted with vineyard. Plans are to expand the vineyards to 150 hectares during the next couple of years. At the moment the estate is still planted with predominantly white noble cultivars covering 75%, with red being only 25%. Apart from the traditional Red Muscadel, Rietvallei is also planted with classic noble cultivars like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Weisser Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Tinta Barocca and Cinsaut. Rietvallei’s famous 1908 Red Muscadel vineyard is in the form of bush vines and is approximately one quarter of a hectare in size.
Away from the pollution of the city, these vines thrive in the crisp clean Karoo air. Often, in the early morning, the vines are shrouded in mist and from the distant Indian Ocean comes a breeze to further cool the grapes, thus allowing them to ripen slowly and develop their summer sugars.
The soils on the estate are well drained and rich in lime, with a high pH, ideal for wine growing. The soil types vary from red calcareous clay-loam, to deep calcareous loam, to rocky and even also to sandy alluvial soil.