Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fleur du Cap wines express a terroir symphony

Bennie Liebenberg  - Viticulturist

Fleur du Cap Winemaking team

Resolute to harness the full potential of the unique biodiversity and micro climates of the Cape Floral Kingdom, Fleur du Cap draws on a wide variety of meticulously selected terroirs spanning four Western Cape wine growing regions and seven districts for its distinctive Unfiltered and Bergkelder Selection wines.

Enjoying the enviable position of literally taking the pick of the crop when it comes to sourcing grapes, the exploration and development for more than a decade of new wine growing areas within the Western Cape has been a major driving force of the Fleur du Cap winemaking team headed by Andrea Freeborough at Die Bergkelder.

The ideal conditions for viticulture and rich diversity of soils, climates and landscapes provide the winemaking team with a wide selection of building blocks and the opportunity to harness the full potential of nature’s bounty. “My philosophy on good wine growing is pretty simple: Find a balance in the vineyards that are situated on excellent terroir and ensure proper vineyard management by controlling the crop through proper pruning techniques, canopy management and irrigation.

This is the basis of a good harvest of quality grapes needed for the making of our wines,” says Bennie Liebenberg, who has been the viticulturist at Die Bergkelder, the home of Fleur du Cap wines, since 2000.

As viticulturist Bennie plays an integral role in the winemaking process, working side by side with carefully selected grape producers by providing technical assistance and ensuring that the highest standards are maintained to produce the finest quality grapes.

Fleur du Cap has full Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) accreditation and all affiliated grape producers follow strict Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) guidelines, the industry’s handbook for sustainable farming.

Through careful selection, the Fleur du Cap winemaking team has identified some of the prized regions within the Western Cape that deliver true expressions of their unique terroir. By matching the distinctive characterists unique to particular varietals in the diverse regions, Fleur du Cap wines are multi faceted expressions of the varietal flavour spectrum, with wines that treat the nose to a wide gamut of aromas and tempt the palate with layers of added complexity.

To achieve the desired flavour dimensions for Fleur du Cap’s Sauvignon Blanc, the winemaking team draws its grapes from vineyard blocks in Stellenbosch, Elgin, Darling, Lutzville and Cape Agulhas. While the Stellenbosch grapes provide tropical notes such as gooseberries and passion fruit flavours, Elgin, Darling and Lutzville deliver a range of grassy notes, displaying green pepper and asparagus. Cape Agulhas offers a beautiful minerality that adds to the fullness and richness of the Sauvignon Blanc.

To garner this symphony of aromas and flavours for Fleur du Cap’s Chardonnay, the winemaking team looks to Robertson for strong orange blossom flavours, Stellenbosch to lend rich nectarine and apricot flavours and Elgin for delicate lemmon and lime flavours.

The complexity and elegance of Fleur du Cap‘s Merlot is derived from vineyards in Cape Agulhas known for red berry fruit flavours and Stellenbosch for dark berry fruit flavours.

For Fleur du Cap’s full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon the team works with a medley of grapes from Botriver in Walker Bay known for their concentrated dark berry flavours and Stellenbosch for plum fruit flavours. For more information on Fleur du Cap wines, visit, or