(placeholder)

A boutique family owned estate producing unique fine dining wine to satisfy the sophisticated palate of wine enthusiasts from around the world.

History   Vineyards   Wines   Gallery   Agents   Downloads    Shop    Contact    Question?   Hotel

(placeholder)

Our Commitments

Our People - Love, understanding, commitment, honesty and integrity.

Vineyards - attention to detail, respect and sustainability for future generations.

Winemaking - gentle handling and minimum interference to reflect the true natural character of our soil, climate and place.

Customers - solid relationships built on trust. We always honour what we promise.

(placeholder)

History

Lovers of good food and collectors of good wines, after working in Cape Town for 20 years, Neville Dorrington and family decided it was time to move to the countryside and grow and make their own wine. The search began. It was decided to buy an undeveloped farm. "Lets do it all from scratch"

We fell in love with the little Tulbagh valley. The town was named after Rijk Tulbagh, govenor of the Cape from 1751 to 1771. Steeped in history, the beautiful Church Street has 32 national monuments and the valley is surrounded by the majestic Winterhoek, Saronsberg and Witzenberg mountains, often snow-capped in winter.

The farm was found. 137 hectares of virgin soils never cultivated. Slopes facing north, south, east and west. The analysis of the vertical shale soils revealed potential for low yielding high quality grapes. The offer to purchase was accepted.

Development of the farm began in May, 1996. We decided to plant many different cultivars - Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz and Pinotage - and learn what would do best on our farm. In july 1997, 14 hectares of vines were planted. The following year a further 12 hectares were planted. The cellar was completed in 1999 and our first wine released was a 2000 vintage. Many awards were received.

After 12 years of learning about our complete natural environment and the characteristic taste and flavours of the wines we produced, we decided to concentrate on the cultivars best suited to our farm and soil - Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Shiraz. All other cultivars were pulled out and replaced. A difficult but great decision for the future of Rijk's as evident in our wines.

Farm and Soil

Rijks is situated 120km north east of Cape Town and 90km east of the Atlantic coast in a Mediterranean climate area. Cold winters with rain and snow, and dry summers with fresh south easterly winds keep our vineyards healthy and disease free. Because of the mountains we have cool summer nights.

The entire farm consists of low potential vertical shale soil, naturally restricting production to 4-5 tons per hectare. A huge asset in our quest to produce quality grapes.

The start of our growing season begins around the first week of september with budburst. This is when we start to grow our wine and the new shoots begin their journey towards the sun. 15 farm workers spend every day in the vineyards dedicated to producing optimum quality grapes from each vine. The leaves are natures factory producing the bunches, so we open up the canopy to allow as much light and sun in, creating a healthy canopy microclimate.

Each block has a 1.2mt probe to measure the moisture content of the soil. By monitoring this we irrigate when needed, or restrict the moisture in the soil to reduce the growth and berry size for optimum grape quality. Summer weeds are controlled if necessary to prevent any competition with the vine roots.

Tulbagh Valley

Rijk's shale soil

Happy healthy vineyard