SoilsWe have very unique soils, in our little pocket at the end of the Breedekloof.
Our soils are made up of a combination of Bokkeveld Shale with components of quartz rich sandstone weaved into the landscape. The shale sediments are from marine origin with a high amount of mineral deposits.
ClimateOur farm is situated at the foot of the Stormsvlei mountain range, between Bonnievale and Swellendam.
The Chardonnay block is located "in die bek van die wind” (at the mouth of the wind) making it one of the first to get the afternoon maritime wind as it makes its way up the Breedekloof. This is one of the key factors influencing Bonnievale and Robertson's unique terroir.
The farm is situated 57 km, as the crow flies, from the ocean at De Hoop Nature Reserve. Bonnievale, as a sub-region within the Robertson wine valley, boasts its own mezzo-climate in relation to the rest of the region.
Our day and night temperatures are on average cooler than Robertson. Bonnievale is completely exposed to the on-shore afternoon maritime winds, bringing cooler air inland and offering respite during the hot summer ripening months.
I believe that Bonnievale is a hidden gem; something I can't wait to start exploring even further in vintages to come.
FarmingThe Rossouw family farms with vineyards, dairy, apricots and pomegranates. We are a passionate team comprising a father and his two sons.
My dad, Dawid, is chief-in-charge, my brother, Dirk takes responsibility for the dairy, and I oversee all the viticulture and winemaking activities.
Our philosophy is to farm in partnership with nature and not against it. Over the years we've shifted our approach towards listening more intently to the guidance that mother nature offers.
This philosophy of letting the land guide what we do is a viewpoint that we shall continue and refine as we aim towards a perfectly harmonious balance with our farming activities.
WinemakingLess is more when it comes to making great wines.
The farm is uniquely located within the Robertson Wine Valley, and I want to showcase this in these wines. We are working with vineyards that are older than 20 years.
No enzymes are used, the juice is slightly settled and the cloudy juice goes directly into older barrels for wild fermentation. The wine is then left on its thick lease for 12 months.
WinemakerBorn and raised in Bonnievale; I’ve been a traveller for years.
After having completed my B.Agric (Cellar Technology and Viticulture) at Elsenburg in Stellenbosch, I undertook harvests and gained valuable winemaking skill far and wide.
I spent time at some of South Africa’s champion wineries as well as in California, Germany, New Zealand and France, but my time in New York was a highlight - this is where I specialised in cool climate varieties.
I finally returned to South Africa in 2017 as a long-held dream of wines I could truly call my own came together.
Inspiration Behind The LabelsWhen I was small, my mum made me a quilt. She made use of designs that reflected all of my favourite pastimes and activities on the farm.
There's a fishing rod with a fish at the end of the line, my toy gun with birds in the background. Our family cat sits underneath a tree, looking up at an owl on the branch, while, in the other corner, the farm tractor.
All of these would forever show where I came from.
HeritageEverything began with the grandfathers in whose honour I named the range - Gabriel & Gysbert.
Pieter Willem Gabriel farmed in Bonnievale his whole life, he was a passionate farmer and loved viticulture. He had five children - three boys and two daughters. All three sons farm in Bonnievale, and Dirk Gysbert Van Renen grew up in the hamlet of Stormsvlei nearby. He was a distiller for Stellenbosch Farmers Winery before starting his own business in Bonnievale.
Though my brother and I inherited their names, these wines are about them - born in remembrance of their legacy in Bonnievale.