In 1652 Jan van Riebeeck, a Dutch surgeon, eager to find a way to relieve the symptoms of scurvy, suggested to the Dutch East India Company that the Cape Province of South Africa would be suitable for growing grapes. Nine years later the first wine was pressed from grapes grown on cuttings brought from France.
The prime grape growing areas of South Africa spread out from Cape Town, and include the Paarl (‘pearl’ in Afrikaans), which to the east encompasses Franschhoek (‘French corner’) home of the first French Huguenot settlers. Boekenhoutskloof, its homestead dating from 1784, is located in the Franschhoek Valley.
The owners of Boekenhoutskloof have revamped an ancient cellar, and have installed state-of-the-art equipment as well as a quality maturation cellar. Marc Kent is the winemaker for the Boekenhoutskloof wines as well as the range of wines called Porcupine Ridge.
There are approximately 20 hectares of vines at Boekenhoutskloof - 25% of which are planted to white varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier; and 75% of which consist of reds: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. All vineyards employ extended double perold trellises. The soil types are not homogenous, ranging from deep, rich alluvial soils along the river’s edge to iron ridge clay on hillsides with areas of decomposed granite.