Agterkliphoogte

Neil Pendock March 29, 2009 0

For an Aussie, directions to the uttermost might include a few left turns “beyond the black stump” while in the Klein Karoo, “agterkliphoogte” will do. So it made total sense for SA cricket legend Eddie Barlow to look agterkliphoogte when shopping for a wine farm back in 1996 when his days playing professional cricket were up and his career as a putative PFP politician hit the skids.

“He named the farm Windfall after the air currents which blew the clouds over the agterkliphoogte mountain” notes Bianca Alexander from the Alexander family who bought the farm from Eddie when his medical insurer somewhat unsportingly declined to cough up after his stroke back in 2000. Although people’s encyclopedia Wikipedia reports it was because he acquired the farm at a bargain price. So both answers are probably correct.

Bianca Alexander

Bianca’s dad Robert is a property developer in Pietermaritzburg with a holiday home on the beach at Hout Bay. So when Windfall came on to the market as a distressed sale, he snapped it up along with an Irish neighbour partner Tony Agnew. Alas the bad luck that had denied Eddie extended ownership of the farm had not yet run its course and Tony was killed in a car crash on the way back to Windfall after tasting wine at a neighbouring farm.

The 200ha property produces 430 tons of grapes, most of which are sold off to the Agterkliphoogte Co-op. All except for around 8 tons which are vinified in a small cellar on site by semi-retired winemaker Kobus van der Merwe who used to do the business at Clairvaux, a Co-op now turned winery with the intriguing motto “wines perfected by the Wouter de Wet generations.” As they say in Private Eye “who he?”

Windfall also produces a brandy from Chenin Blanc (Robertson is after all, elephant country for burnt wine) and an MCC from Chardonnay is on the menu for Bianca’s wedding to web designer Paul Weingartz in October.

After tasting the range of four Windfall wines (2006 and 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, 2006 Shiraz and 2006 Cabernet) a definite minerality, klip if you like, is clearly the hallmark of the terroir. The Sauvignon Blanc starts off with exuberant tropical notes that evolve to flinty in the open bottle while the sweet fruit Cabernet goes all cold river stones in the mouth. Trademark Robertson value for money is another hallmark that makes these wines worth bringing to the attention of the Good Value Guru, lurking in his Parkhurt Possie, planning the next foray out behind the black stump.

Check out the Windfall website for more information.

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