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The winery is located on Paarl Mountain in the South African wine-growing district of Paarl. Its origins date back to 1693, when the then governor Simon van der Stel (1639-1712) granted land to the French Huguenot Steven Vervey. The first wine was produced in 1699. After several changes of ownership, the property was acquired by the Lithuanian Charles Back in 1937, expanded by his son Cyril and today run by his grandson Charles, the third generation. He also owns the Spice Route vineyard in the Swartland wine-growing district. The vineyards cover 300 hectares of vines on the south-western foothills of Paarl Mountain. Weathered granite predominates at higher altitudes and sandy loam soil at lower altitudes. Red grape varieties are cultivated to 80%. There are many innovative experiments with grape varieties new to South Africa and interesting blends with the Rhône varieties Carignan, Gamay Noir, Malbec, Mourvèdre and, for the first time in South Africa, Viognier. The traditional ones are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc (Steen), Merlot, Muscat d'Alexandrie (Hanepoot), Pinotage, Sémillon, Shiraz and Zinfandel. Red wines are also made with carbonic maceration (carbonic acid blend). The premium wines are "Akkerbos" (Chardonnay) and the Rhône-style "Goats de Roam". Just under 1.4 million bottles of wine are produced annually. Since 1980, goats have been bred on the farm for the production of cheese; the goat tower is also the winery landmark.

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Dr. Christa Hanten

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