Bamboes Bay, South Africa
On the outskirts of Strandfontein, a peaceful village on the Atlantic coast 300 kilometres north of Cape Town, lies a lonely 6 hectare vineyard just 800 metres from the Atlantic Ocean.
How it came to be there is a remarkable story. Viticulturist Jan "Ponk" van Zyl knew this area from his experience at the nearby Vredendal co-op, and wanted to try to plant cool-climate varieties.
He knew the micro-climate was extraordinary: very often the vines here are blanketed in a thick sea-fog, whilst only a few kilometers away inland the sun may be shining and the temperature torrid.
He knew too that there was limestone - ideal for both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir - under the top-soil. He then had to negotiate with a bunch of farmers to pipe in water from the Olifants river 29 kilometres away in order to establish the vines.
The last step in 2010 was the conversion of a former fish processing factory on the dockside in nearby Doring Bay to the only seawater-cooled winery we ship from!
Ponk’s persistence has paid off. The quality of their wines and the distinctive nature of their terroir has already demanded that the estate should have its own tiny, but official, geographical ward, Bamboes Bay. The second label here, including some bought in fruit, is Doring Bay