Boschendal is nestled in one of the most picturesque valleys in the Cape wine lands, one of South Africas original wine farms eagerly awaits your arrival. With a wine making tradition spanning over 300 years, Boschendal Wine Estate offers a veritable treat for wine lovers everywhere. This gracious national treasure is a familiar favourite to many and a glorious discovery for countless others.
Boschendal _Conservation Story Boschendal, with its backdrop of sweeping mountains, deep ravines and imposing peaks are renowned throughout the world for its beauty. The estate is situated in the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest yet richest plant kingdom on earth with an astounding biodiversity of plant and animal life. Although over the centuries many of […]Read more
Raised in the Cape’s Winelands, his most memorable experience with wine was at the impressionable age of five during a pre-school outing to a wine cellar. After the winemaker handed out small cups of must (freshly crushed grape juice) to all the pupils, Jacques was enamoured: “It was a taste revelation. I recall the juice being so sweet and concentrated, and a very specific smell of fermentation esters floating in the air. It certainly triggered something in me,” he reflects. From there, the decision to become a winemaker came naturally. At 18, Jacques went on to study winemaking at Stellenbosch University. Following a formative period in France where Jacques learnt his style that merges classic and modern techniques. On his return to South Africa he spent a further 16 years refining his winemaking skills before joining Boschendal. Based on his inherent love and respect of nature, Jacques endeavours to stay true to it. He is an expert in honouring terroir and the natural fruit to produce award-winning vintages. “Winemaking is like preparing a meal for someone. You know the effort that went into making it and it is rewarding to see your guests enjoy it,” explains Jacques. Jacques is particularly strategic in his response to tackling challenges of any sort, with an ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ perspective. Ultimately, winemaking is a team sport, and for Jacques, it is about ensuring he is able to support every person and encourage their strengths in order to reap the best results – vintage after vintage.
Michael Langenhoven, Boschendal’s White Winemaker, knew he was never destined for an office job. With an entrenched love of nature, he instinctively opted to study agriculture at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. Yet, after initially finding viticulture interesting, he was soon more captivated by winemaking, following a harvest internship. What progressed was Michael’s headfirst dive into the barrel of the wine world, having worked successful harvests in California’s Dry Creek Vineyards as well as France’s Rhone Valley and Sancerre. This formative time abroad helped pave the path of his personal winemaking philosophy, which he describes as making Old-World style wines in a New World environment. “I always aim to make elegant and well-balanced wines, respecting the terroir from where the grapes are from”. With a tenured career spanning over 15 years, Michael’s love for the industry is deep-rooted – much like the vines he is surrounded by. “I love harvest time. There is always the fresh smell of grapes in the cellar and good energy in the air,” he says. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, he tackles challenges by preparing, and gaining as much information as possible. For Michael, it’s the attention to detail that counts – and it shows in the quality of wines he creates.
For a lucky few, there is a definitive moment when the world quietly slips away, and all that remains is an inspired instant between you and the wine that leaves you awestruck. For others, it’s a special memory that confirms your love for wine. For Danielle Coetsee, Methode Cap Classique Winemaker at Boschendal, it was a combination of both. At just 11 years old, Danielle’s uncle inspired her to be a winemaker with his tales of studying winemaking and viticulture from Elsenburg. Yet, it was not until Danielle’s first harvest and tasting through some particularly memorable wines that a deeper love for winemaking blossomed: “Reaping the reward after months of hard work is a profound moment for any winemaker. I’ve also been majorly influenced by some incredible wines I’ve had the privilege of trying, including a 2010 Chateau de Myrat Sauternes Grand Cru, a 2007 Costers del Siurana Priorat Miserere, a 2013 AA Badenhorst White Blend and of course, the 2008 Boschendal Jean Le Long”. While studying viticulture and oenology at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, Danielle had her first encounter with the camaraderie and openness that exists within the wine world. This spirit of community and willingness to share knowledge motivated her to continue along with her vocation.
Before Boschendal, Danielle was the winemaker and farm manager at a boutique winery for several years and it was during this formative time that Danielle cemented her approach to winemaking. “It may sound super cliche, but it still rings true – you need good grapes to make good wine. You can make bad wine from good grapes, but you cannot make good wine from bad grapes,” she explains. Beyond that, she believes that meticulous attention to detail and a “kick-ass palate” are cornerstones to sound winemaking.