The ultimate goal of Black Oystercatcher Vineyards is to produce top
And that is what the southern-most wine ward on the African continent, known as the
Elim Wine Ward, offers: quality grapes with intense varietal characteristics. So how do
the grapes gain their fruity flavours? Through their unique setting: the combination of
the Elim soil near Cape Agulhas, the coastal maritime climate and the cool sea breeze.
The coastal shelf on the Agulhas Plain was formed 900 million years ago, and is
believed to have originally been part of Antarctica. As a result, the soil types are
diverse and distinctive to this region, dominated by broken shale, cool iron Ferro
Crete and quartzite soil. This diversity in soil types constitutes an array of distinctive
mineral and flinty flavours in the grapes. Great care is taken in soil preparation,
rootstock selection, trellising, specific canopy management and strategic irrigation to
ensure the best possible quality grapes.
The cool maritime climate of the peninsula leads to the gradual ripening of the grapes.
The peninsula is bordered on three sides: the south where the two oceans meet, the
Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the east. Because of the location,
both the south-easterly wind and the south-westerly wind - the two dominant winds in
this Elim region- blow directly off the sea. They're cool winds, and the air is known to
carry some salt from the ocean. The harsh growing conditions caused by these
perpetual coastal winds restrict vegetative growth and engraves excellent character of
concentrated fruit flintiness and minerality in small compact berries. Due to the
proximity to the coast, the night temperatures cool down considerably and the day
temperatures seldom reach extreme highs.
The result? Premium quality grapes at lower yields, with crisp yet fruity flavours and
noticeable minerality. Once the grapes are ripe, they are handpicked in the most
natural way, and dealt with in the softest possible manner at our cellar - from where
our boutique wines are made.
The Elim Wine
Spectacular wines are
the order of the day for
four wine producing
partners in the Elim
ward; The Berrio, Black
Zoetendal and First
Their slogan, 'Real wine,
Real people', captures
the essence of this small
hamlet, where there is
no better place to
cuisine and genuine
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