The beautiful Elgin Valley is a high inland plateau, completely surrounded by mountains, 70 km south-east of Cape Town. As a relatively new wine area it already produces some of the best wines in South Africa.
Within the Elgin Valley, the Elgin Vintners, a partnership of six families who farm in Elgin and have combined their resources to cultivate, produce and market their range of premium quality wines from the Elgin Valley.
The first wine to be launched was the Elgin Vintners Sauvignon Blanc in 2005. The range has since been extended and now embraces a total of 10 wines including a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Merlot Rosé, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux-styled blend called Agama, Pinot Noir and Syrah.
With a total of 102 hectares collectively under vineyard, this makes them the second largest grape producer within the Elgin Valley. They currently vinify only 25% of their grape crop and are therefore able to increase production to meet the demands of their expanding markets.
They have adopted a different approach to the usual South African model for wine estates in that they decided not to build a wine cellar. Instead they utilise winemakers with a particular affinity or passion for a style of wine to vinify their grapes for us.
They are extremely proud of the international and local accolades that some of their wines have achieved notably Decanter Gold Medals for Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Shiraz 2006 and Agama 2005. Veritas Gold medals awarded to the Viognier 2011, Chardonnay 2012, Merlot 2007, 2009 and Michelangelo Gold Award for our Shiraz 2008, 2009 and Double Gold for our Century 2012. The Elgin Vintners Pinot Noir won the International Trophy at the 2015 Decanter World Wine Awards – A massive achievement for a young brand from a young wine producing area. The Chardonnay 2011 has been selected for the premium class on South African Airways flights and our Elgin Vintners Viognier 2009 was adjudged the Best South African White Wine and Best Viognier internationally at the Port of Wines Festival in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Elgin Vintners continues to grow and produce premium quality wines.
In 2014, Elgin Vintners moved into its new home on Elgin Orchards, owned by Max Hahn (Majority shareholder of EV). The Ridgeland’s Homestead recently renovated to accommodate the tasting room, accommodation, the wine offices and a function venue.
How Max Hahn became a part of Elgin…
After the 2nd World War, the Ridgelands homestead (home of Elgin Vintners) was opened to wounded soldiers returning home to re-cooperate. Max’s father was stationed there when he returned from the war after being wounded and became close friends with Dolf Denniston and later the Brown family. Max spent many weekends and childhood holidays on the farm as he was in boarding school in Cape Town. He fell in love with Elgin and promised himself he would farm here one day. Max purchased Elgin Orchards in 2001. The farm is planted to 230 ha of apples and pears, 30 ha of vineyards and 10 ha of kiwi fruit.
In 2011 they launched their flagship white wine. This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, named The Century as a tribute to Douglas Moodie who turned 100 in 2011. He was a pioneer and iconic farmer and father of Elgin Vintners shareholder Alastair Moodie! In 1929, at the age of 18, Douglas cycled from Cape Town to Elgin for a managerial position of the Blackburn’s farm, Eikenhof. He got the job and was such a loyal servant to the family (who had no dependents) that he later inherited the farm. Douglas was not only an incredible farmer, but also a person who contributed much of his time to the community and its needs. He passed away in 2013 just short of his 102nd birthday.