Darling Cellars

The Darling area historically is a dairy area and only the last 10 – 15 years, grape growing has come to the fore. Renowned for its wild flowers, it is one of the Western Cape’s most diverse areas. The Darling Wildflower Society was founded in 1915 with an annual show in September.

The area was used during the 18 hundreds by the government of the day to fatten their cattle, as the area had large plains of natural grass. The traditional produce was game, salt and butter.

These days an abundance of businesses thrive in Darling. Wine, dairy, baskets, olives, sand and water are some of the industries which, along with tourism, makes Darling tick along.

The cool and temperate West Coast climate lends itself to a variety of different micro- and meso-climates which, along with the different soil types, lead to unique grapes which are guided into even more unique wines. With approximately 95% of all the vineyards being Unirrigated (dry land) and roughly the same percentage being bush vines (i.e. not trellised), this is as close as one can get to what nature intended for grapes to be.

These varying factors result in wines that are true to the terroir from which they come and are true to the identity which are crafted over time for the wines. Investment continues in the winery and cellar with some of the most modern and up to date winemaking equipment in our industry today.

A modern bottling line, new presses, a barrel maturation cellar, a new grape off-loading system and continuing replanting of vineyards, to include noble cultivars, all contribute to our advances in contemporary winemaking.

Great improvements and modernisation has taken place since 1948! Various size stainless steel tank from 5000l to 54000l abound in the cellar. This gives the opportunity to create small, unique batches of wines, or bigger, uniform batches for volume brands. A barrel ageing cellar with approximately 450 barrels is the pride and focal point of the cellar.

Making wine is a biological and scientific form of art. A lot of factors vary from year to year and it is our winemakers’ challenge to make wines that show the difference in vintage and cultivar, but not to vary too much from year to year.

Blending is one of the few tools used to assure consistent quality. Knowledge of vineyards is also a key factor and communication between the producer, viticulturist and winemaker is very important. There is only one opportunity to pick grapes at the right stage to try and make the ideal wine.

In the cellar, the grapes and wines are handled in the most natural and pure process as possible. Good grapes, good equipment, educated people that make wine with passion are some of the key elements to produce wine.