Nestled in the heart of the Elgin Valley, Spioenkop Wines was established in 2008 with Koen Roose as winemaker. With several awards and accolades under their belt, Spioenkop produces wines that have finesse, balance, and purity, with the idiosyncratic character of the winemaker flowing through every bottle.
The Elgin valley is shaped like a crater, surrounded by mountains. The vineyards are planted on a plateau 200m and higher above sea level. Temperatures on the farm are about 3 degrees lower than surrounding areas, and the valley often channels cool Atlantic sea breezes from a few kilometres away. The geography and the climate of the farm result in rainwater being retained in the clay soils mixed with iron-rich ferricreet cobbles and shales, and it is in these nutrient poor soils that the vines are planted at a high density to help with the control of yields.
The winemaking philosophy is minimum intervention, thus allowing the wine to have a ‘voice’ without intrusive technology and winemaking methods. Biodynamic principles have been adopted, although the wines are not certified. The winemaker encourages a vineyard in rude health, dry farmed and untrammelled by artificial fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides and where working on foot and by hand are the order of the day. Koen is obsessive about the relationship of his vines with the environment and the work that he has done and continues to do to get the best from them.
‘Balance in the wines, balance in the winery and balance in the terroir’ – Koen Roose