In 2005, Vrede en Lust purchased the 90 hectare farm, Casey’s Ridge in Elgin. Situated next to a large body of water within the Kogelberg Biosphere, it is considered the most flora diverse UNESCO biosphere in the world.
Vrede en Lust Wine Estate
The diversity of the soils and elevations are closely linked with the quality of the Vrede en Lust wines.
The higher elevated soils consist of weathered granite soils, with good water retention which necessitates minimal human intervention when it comes to irrigation.
The lower lying sections consist of loamy and alluvial based soils which are especially suited for the Rhone cultivars with higher vigour.
There are some sandy soil blocks on the farm, mostly consisting of riverbed sand. These soils drain easily of supplemented water and require more attention than other blocks due to the quick drainage.
The 30 ha of vines consists of mainly red cultivars Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Pinotage and Grenache, along with minor plantings Viognier and Chardonnay.
Casey’s Ridge Vineyards
Casey’s Ridge is 6-8 degrees cooler than the farm in Simondium, which makes it a perfect climate for those cultivars that don’t do as well in the warmer weather. In addition, it provides cooler-climate reds that complement the mild climate reds from Simondium. The large water body next to and above the TBS soils helps to moderate the climate and ensure cooler daytime temperatures during the ripening period.
The two distinct soil types on the farm are Bokkeveld shale and Table Mountain sandstone (TBS) with a significant quartz component. The shale occurs along the ridge at the top and on the warmer slopes with the TBS along the Kogelberg hydroelectric dam and Palmiet River. The soils are deep and well drained. The shale soils have gravel content of around 70%, which is really exceptional.
Cape Biodiversity Initiative
Casey’s Ridge possesses some exceptional indigenous fynbos and fauna. It is located in the Kogelberg Biosphere, the first UNESCO proclaimed biosphere in Africa. Vrede en Lust continually rehabilitates these areas in support of the Cape Biodiversity initiative. The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve encompasses the entire coastal area from Gordon’s Bay to the Bot River valley and inland to Grabouw and the Groenland Mountain. The Kogelberg Nature Reserve forms the largest part of the core area of the biosphere reserve. This reserve, known as the “heart of the fynbos”, is home to an incredible 1 600 different plant species, making it one of the world’s richest sites of plant diversity. In addition, numerous animals, including leopard, antelope, many birds, freshwater fish and smaller creatures occur in this region of natural splendour.
Our aim is to utilise the heterogeneity of our farm by planting the same cultivars on the different soil types. So far we have succeeded by planting Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Shiraz on the shale and sandstone areas. Our Chenin, Semillon, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet franc are only planted on shale soils. Up to date we have planted just under 60 ha high quality vines.