Haute Cabriere

Monday, 24 June, 2013
Shante Hutton, wine.co.za
The home of Pierre Jourdan and the fantastic personality that is Achim von Arnim.
Perhaps the bubble capital of Franschhoek, Haute Cabriere sits proudly armed with the motto “Sun, Soil, Vine, Man”.  It’s this philosophy, meaning that wine is not made but grown, and the unbridled passion of founder Achim von Arnim that has made it the winery it is today.

Originally the rubbish heap of Franschhoek, full of rusted cars and old junk, Achim got the two plots of land that make up Haute Cabriere, at a very good price - his heart set on making an underground cellar. When it came to designing the farm, it was important that gravity came into play. Achim wanted as little damage to the grapes as possible and this was imperative to the design of the cellar.

Some might call them unconventional but with their eye on the goal of producing excellent méthode champenoise it makes them a formidable force in the Franschhoek Valley as well as in South Africa as a whole. Their chardonnay contributes elegance to their bubbly, with Pinot Noir giving the intensity. They show absolute respect to the art of making champagne but have deviated slightly to accommodate the South African climate - everything is done with great care.

They succeed further by the way of their knowledge of wine and food pairings, believing that they are both important factors in one another's enjoyment; they call themselves "Pioneers of the true marriage of food and wine" and offer a guide on helping you choose which of their wines to have with your meal. Essentially, they have a bubbly for every time of the day, that's definitely worth shouting about.

When it comes to family, Achim is very tongue-in-cheek, jokingly saying about his son Takuan that, "It's all in the jeans until you take them off". They have a very close relationship and it shows in their dedication to Haute Cabriere.

You can't separate fun from Haute Cabriere because they are "bloody naughty".

We talk to Achim on his favorite wine memories and the lasting impression he would like to leave behind