A look inside the well thought out production cellar at Highlands Road reveals a lot about the winemaking ethos – modern, crisp and clean while observing an aspirational respect for classic style.
The architecture reflects this too --- simple lines, while deferring to the lovely Cape Winelands vernacular in a contemporary version thereof.
Reticulated high pressure steam cleaning pipes are fixed to the walls alongside water hoses and integrated chilling to each tank. Power points throughout the high-pitched ceiling room facilitate easy use of the various pumps, crusher/destemmer, much other equipment, as well as the pneumatic press which is offset by a beautiful old hand operated basket version -- used during fond reversion to a previous era from time to time.
Apart from highly effective insulation, a coldroom in the corner more than pays its dues in season, while the orientation and design of the facility coupled with Elgin’s fabulous cool climate ensure that winemaking is afforded the best opportunity to allow the wines to express their cool character.
Sunken strip drains in gently sloping floors ensure cleanliness and hygiene in as dry an environment as is realistically possible.
Thirteen tanks range in size from as little as 1000 litres to 16500, providing ample variety options – and that’s not even taking the amphora, open fermenters, glass pitchers, and scores of barrels into account.
With easy access from the nearby vineyards, the cellar at Highlands Road can handle up to 200 tons a season, but we prefer to keep the volumes a little lower to allow each grape berry to get as close to individual attention as we can give.
It’s this space in which Vanessa plies her trade, closing the circle that starts with terroir, continues with our minimal intervention, cool climate embracing vineyard policy and ends with the magical blend of art and science that steers the fruit to its finessed fulfilment.
Adjoining the stainless steel and concrete of the production cellar is the quaint, rustic, clay brick walled, terracotta floored barrel cellar which provides a calming aesthetic offset to the constant activity alongside, apart from affording views through the tasting room then across the lawns, dam and vineyard, over neighbouring fruit orchards to the mountains beyond. Sunsets here are spectacular!
Completing the cellar infrastructure is the dry and finished goods store, where our bottled wines lie waiting to be taken to their new home en route to your enjoyment.