Our History

Our land was granted by Governor William Herlot in 1712 and shortly thereafter the first vineyards and fruit groves were planted. The name Nabygelegen –lying nearby- stems from that time and was so called as the first owner family lived in the area.

The farm’s old homestead and outbuildings were built over a long period of time with many alterations and additions however the stables and the old cellar building certainly stem from an earlier time and may have formed part of the original barn built in 1712. The lush fertile valley with its strong flowing river even attracted ancient man. Regularly stone implements, some dating back over a million years, are discovered in our deep soils by the vineyard team doing their daily rounds.

Our Soil & Terroir

Nabygelegen, in the heart of the Bovlei -Upper valley- winegrowing district just outside Wellington, enjoys a special interaction between diverse soils, slopes and climate, contributing to the farming of consistently high quality, super-premium wines in a very South African style.

Not only do the adjacent mountains create excellent climatic conditions, but through weathering and erosion they have deposited many complex strata of rocks and soils in the valleys below. Thus, Nabygelegen’s vines can be planted in very soil-specific sites with the reds rooted in very deep, well-drained, stony Hutton soils. White wines are planted in equally deep decomposed granite Glen Rosa soils, both creating distinctive character in the wines.

Our Vines

Planted over 19.5 hectares within the 35-hectare estate, the varietals are evenly spread between reds and whites. Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot make up the backbone of the vines planted on the warmer north-facing slopes. Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc and Sémillon are south-facing and lower down in the valley.

The oldest blocks, planted in 1940, yield very small crops of concentrated Chenin Blanc, while some of the newer plantings still have to bear their first fruit.  New blocks of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon should contribute fruit to the cellar in 2022.

The Climate

Characterized by long dry summers and cold wet winters, the Cape enjoys a fairly moderate climate. The vines at Nabygelegen are shielded from the Cape winter storms and hot growth season by the overshadowing Limietberg range. This, together with cool night air from Groenberg mountain, create the right balance for easy ripening and the moderate vine growth required for making our unique wines

Viticultural Ethos

Small vineyards and individual blocks within can be harvested individually to ensure uniform optimal ripeness. Each individual block is catered for in the winery and is always vinified separately to achieve the highest quality. We believe wine is not made but grown. We do everything we can to help the vine create small, concentrated crops. Canopy management of each individual vine is possible through extensive pruning and suckering by hand. Watering is minimal and controlled to allow vines to be in balance with root, leaf, and crop during the early stages of the growing season.

The Cellar

Nabygelegen has a very old history of winemaking and the original cellar building dating back to well before its inscribed 1815 gable date has old, open concrete fermenting tanks, stone foot presses, and underground storage tanks. Last used in 1934, they now form part of the barrel maturation room. Full use is being made of the delicately restored massive buttress walls and the deep cool tanks.  Many vintages are on display in the bottle stores and the wine library.

The modern winery and fermentation cellar contains state-of-the-art machinery and the most modern of processes from the new and old world. From special grape cooling and sorting techniques to the soft working pumps and presses, everything is designed to get fruit into the bottle with minimum handling.

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