Strandveld: Africa’s Southernmost Winery


Located directly north of Antarctica and near the old Moravian settlement of Elim, Strandveld is the southernmost winery of Africa. With 87 hectares of vineyards 7-10 km from the cold sea at just 40-100m elevation, vines are subject to perpetual sea winds that reduce disease pressure and contribute to extended ripening periods but also constrain yields and can produce wines of high acidity and low alcohol. The soils are relatively infertile but high in minerals with layers of shale and koffieklip (iron and decomposed granite).

The Strandveld winery was established in 2001, and Conrad Vlok (shown here in the winery’s most famous vineyard) has been winemaker almost since the beginning. He’s a graduate of Eisenberg with previous winemaking experience at Darling Cellars and Delheim.  Annual production is about 300 thousand bottles.  

Thatched Roof Houses in Elim

 Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas is where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. It’s famous for the many sea wrecks over the years as ferocious winds and fog led many ships to their demise. The first wines were made for religious purposes by Moravian missionaries in Elim, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that pioneering farmers started planting vines in modern times, and the first winery was established in 2000.  Today there are several wineries in the Agulhas region, including Strandveld, the southernmost.

The South African appellation system is geographic in nature and divided into regions, districts, and wards, regions being the largest and wards the smallest. Wines made from grapes produced within the Elim ward can be labeled as “Elim”. If any grapes come from outside Elim, the wine must be labeled as Cape Agulhas, which is a district, or Cape South Coast, which is a large region that includes Cape Agulhas. See the Elim ward and Cape Agulhas district in the map below. The US importer is Trevino.

The Wines

Strandveld 2023 First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc Cape Agulhas 90 Blended with some Semillon, this well-priced, entry level Sauvignon Blanc is bright and fresh like all of Strandveld’s wines. It opens with aromas of fresh cut grass and lime zest and is round on the palate with good concentration, zingy acidity, and a flavorful finish. pH 3.33, 12.8% alc.

Strandveld 2023 Pofadderbos Sauvignon Blanc Elim 94  Consistently one of South Africa’s top single vineyard Sauvignon Blancs, the Pofadderbos Sauvignon Blanc is complex with savory, saline notes that reflects its ocean-influenced terroir. Opens with light scents of tomato leaves and grapefruit. The palate is refined, showing a melange of citrus, underripe Cape gooseberry, and touches of fennel and garden herbs. All Sauvignon Blanc picked in two batches, fermented and aged in stainless steel. pH 3.41, 13.5% alc.

Strandveld 2021 Adamastor Elim 93 This blend of steel fermented Sauvignon Blanc and oak fermented and aged Semillon lives up to South Africa’s high standards for this blend. Opens with a spicy nose of lemon zest and herbs. Well integrated oak on the palate with an impressive, creamy richness complemented by fresh acidity. Wonderful, full, substantial mouthfeel. 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Semillon, the latter barrel fermented with 10 months on the lees in 500L French oak. pH 3.39, 13.4% alc.

Strandveld 2022 Grenache Cape South Coast 91 Medium red. Beautifully perfumed of bright, fresh red cherry with strawberry accent. The medium plus weight palate is pure with alluringly sweet fruit and a vibrant mineral nuance. Finishes with supple tannins. Blended with 14% Syrah, one-third whole cluster, and matured 10 months in used 500L French oak. 13% alc.

Strandveld 2021 Syrah Elim 92 Deep, dark fruit aromas with hints of baking spice and herbs. The palate is suave and pure with significant flavor authority, a long finish, and round tannins. Perfectly integrated oak. A blend of 94% Syrah and 6% Viognier matured 20 months in 35% new French oak.

Strandveld 2021 The Navigator Elim 93  This GSM+ blend offers energetic aromas and flavors of sweet black and red berries complemented by notes of tobacco, spice and candied violet. Juicy acidity and fine grained, dry tannins. A blend of 69% Syrah, 13% Grenache, 11% Mourvèdre, and 7% Viognier all co-fermented and matured 18 months in 30% new French oak. pH 3.52, 13.3% alc.

Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2024/02/27/strandveld-africas-southernmost-winery/