Beyers Truter facilitates the first vineyard fraternity

Monday, 24 May, 2004
Marius Labuschagne
Residents will not only live among the vineyards but also be part of the wine culture
Internationally renowned winemaker Beyers Truter has joined forces with local property developers to create South Africa’s first security vineyard estate which will be co-owned by all the people buying plots and building houses.

The 42 hectare Croydon Vineyard Estate is situated next to Vergenoegd Wine Estate in the prime wine area between Stellenbosch and Somerset West. All the home owners in this vineyard estate will be co-owners of a boutique wine cellar with life style facilities built at a cost of more than R10 million, as well as nine hectares of newly planted vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

The concept is enjoying huge interest from buyers all over the country and 75% of the 205 plots have already been sold out, without any marketing. Plots average between 700 and 800 square metres apiece, and homes will need to conform to an idyllic Cape country village specification.

‘Residents will not only live among the vineyards in this security estate, but will also be part of the wine culture, which includes partaking in the vineyard and cellar,’ says Beyers Truter.

The developers JBB and Beyers Truter are particularly enthusiastic about the job-creation and empowerment aspects that could benefit as many as 200 workers. Beyers created the concept of the wine cellar and approved the final design. He will serve as overseer and wine consultant, whilst a permanent farm manager/winemaker will be appointed.

As agreed between Elsenburg Agricultural College, John Bos and Jan Bergman of JBB and Beyers Truter, two post graduate Elsenburg students from previously disadvantaged communities will with each harvest at Croydon Estate do a practical course on vineyard management and winemaking. They will receive certificates of approval from Beyers Truter.

‘The nice part for property owners is that they can voluntary join these students in the vineyards and cellar and become part of the wine production team. Each owner can for instance have a particular row of vineyard close to home which he or she can prune and harvest. It is an added bonus for the students as they will also learn people skills, which is an important part of all careers,’ says Beyers.

The Croydon Vineyard Estate home owners will as part of their levy receive an annual allotment of approximately 15 000 bottles of wine which will be bottled after each harvest. A proportion will be the Owners’ Reserve matured in new oak barrels, while the rest will be matured in second and third fill barrels to create a slightly more fruity and accessible style. Both wines will be Cape Blends, thus having Pinotage as an ingredient blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc or Merlot.

‘We will also with each harvest have a pressing ceremony where property owners can participate in pressing the first grapes of the harvest, while the wine cellar includes tasting and social facilities for 40 people. They can invite friends for a tasting of wines in which they were part of the winemaking team. But even if you are not that interested in wine, you can be a ‘stoepsitter’ winemaker/farmer for the rest of your life,’ says Beyers. 

The owners of houses on Croydon estate can also taste the Owners’ Reserve wine every three months as it matures in new oak barrels for 18 to 24 months. The normal recording of the wines’ vinification and development will also be available to all.

For more information on the availability of plots, contact Zelda Strauss
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 494 6313
Tel: +27 (0) 21 843-3609 / 843-3610

Issued by: ML Communications on behalf of Beyers Truter and JBB
Contact: Marius Labuschagne
Tel: +27 (0) 21 981-8546