Alheit Vineyards

Alheit Vineyards is a family business started in 2010 by husband and wife team Chris and Suzaan Alheit. They met at Stellenbosch University, fell in love, travelled the world together, got married, then travelled some more. Eventually, they settled on Hemelrand farm close to Hermanus and started their project.
"The years we spent following the harvests North and South were golden. We learned so much. We returned home from our travels at the end of 2010 on a mission to make very South African wine. Over the years, Alheit Vineyards has also become a network of people: parents and friends helping in harvest time, Hans making lunch, growers getting excited about their vineyards, interns coming from afar, enthusiastic importers representing our wines around the world, etc. It’s been a remarkable journey."

Their goals are simple. They want to make wines with a clear sense of Cape identity. They want to show that the Cape’s vinous heritage is worth celebrating and protecting. They love old vineyards. They love dry farming. They love bushvines. They think that “ordinary grapes” are in fact wonderful. They believe that great things are possible here in the Cape, and that They are now just scratching the surface of what can be done.

They believe that quality and beauty in wine come from the vineyard alone. The true wonder of wine is revealed when all the nonsense and lies are stripped away. Therefore, They practice simple and careful winemaking: no yeasts, no enzymes, no acidification, no sulphur before ferment, no blocking malo, no new barrels, no fining etc. No manipulation. This is the core principle we adhere to. They cannot in good conscience talk about the importance of place if we’re manipulating the wine. They’re hoping to find the voice of the land, not the mark of the winemaker. In their vineyards much attention is paid to the farming, with an emphasis on careful pruning and suckering, diligent canopy work, and hand hoeing. They like to encourage healthy soil by cover cropping, mulching, and manuring. All their grapes are handpicked into small lug boxes and transported with care by them to the winery. They work closely with the growers. They also have their own farm, Broom Ridge, on the Paardeberg, for which they are fully responsible. In the cellar, they use gentle whole cluster pressing, hardly settling (we like very cloudy raw juice), no additions to the raw juice, wild fermentation in either cement eggs, clay pots, foudres, or old barrels (various sizes). The wine is kept on lees for around twelve months, then rested in tank without fining for a further four months prior to bottling.