PROFILE OF KAAPZICHT ESTATE & FAMILY BUSINESS - By Yngvild Steytler
The Steytler family has farmed here since 1946 and my husband Danie and his younger brother George are the 3rd generation owners of the estate.
Every member of our family has a job:
George is the viticulturist and looks after the vineyards, the maintenance of buildings and vehicles. His wife Mandy rents out a venue for weddings and parties and also a small guesthouse. My husband Danie (the elder of the two brothers) oversees our finances and whatever is happening in the wine cellar, also helping with local sales and marketing within South Africa. Our son, Danie Junior joined the family company in Feb 2009 as our winemaker. He has a degree in Oenology & Viticulture from Stellenbosch University and spent 4 years making wine in France, New Zealand, California, Italy and Greece before he was allowed to come home and try his hand on our Kaapzicht wines. In the meantime he is well settled and pleases us with the wines he makes.
In 2012 he got married and because his wife Carin has a bubbly, outgoing personality, is hard working and passionate about our wines and family business, we offered her the job as our local Marketing & Sales Manager: since March 2013 she is responsible for all the sales within South Africa.
I am our Export Marketing Manager since 1997 and I still love jetting around the world, visiting my business partners and helping to grow our export markets.
Our unirrigated vineyards
Are grown on old weathered granite soils on the north-western slopes of the Bottelary Hills (warm direct sunlight) , 30 km from the Atlantic Ocean (cool sea breezes) and have thus a perfect combination of everything needed to create full bodied, fruity wines.
On 190 ha (162 ha under vineyards) we grow 70 % red cultivars, (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage, Cinsaut, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Pinot Noir) and 30 % white cultivars (mainly Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, some Muscat d'Alexandrie and even less Chardonnay). Due to the lack of rain in the past 4 years we harvested an average of 5 ton per hectar across all varietals.
All our wines (except the Port Wine) are certified estate wines, so they have to be made from grapes grown on our own property and vinified inside our wine cellar, which guarantees consistency of quality. At this time we only bottle about 30 % of our total production (~ 30000 cases x 9 li), our wines are mostly being exported into 25 countries around the world, but also sold within South Africa.
Thanks to my enthusiastic and creative husband & son team we have a large range to offer:
3 unwooded easy drinking white wines, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and a blend of both, called "Combination", all three in a dry, crispy style.
Our range of red wines comes at different price points which are directly related to production cost and quality:
Kaapzicht Kaleidoscope: this is our entry level fruity fun wine, consisting of forever changing percentages of 5 different cultivars.
Kaapzicht Estate Red: 50% Cab.Sauv.& 50% Shiraz, slightly wooded and definitely more serious than the previous wine.
Kaapzicht Bin 3 : Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon blend, matured in French oak barrels (all our French oak barrels hold 225 Li), more elegant than the previous and every year our most popular, most widely selling wine.
All of these entry level wines (including the dessert wines) have repeatedly won Wine Magazine’s „Best Value for Money“ Awards over the last couple of years.
For our single varietal wines we reserve the best quality tanks, usually coming every year from the same highlying (very often "single") vineyards:
Kaapzicht Pinotage: our typical South African grape, matured for 24 months in 50 % new, the rest in 2nd fill French oak , appealing soft & fruity, easily accessable.
Kaapzicht Merlot and Kaapzicht Shiraz: matured for 24 months, 50 % new French oak, the rest in 2nd fill barrels, made in a medium bodied style.
Kaapzicht Cabernet Sauvignon: 50 % new French oak barrels, 50 % 2nd fill, with powerful structure, some sweet ripe fruit flavours and a long finish.
For our "flagship" wines under the "Steytler" family name we select the very best barrels, all 100% new French oak, and blend them together after 24 months of maturation.
Our first two Steytler wines have won multiple international awards and trophies such as the IWSC Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lalande Trophy for Best Blend in the world, twice the IWSC Pinotage Trophy, both Decanter Trophies for Best South African Red Blend and Best South African Red Single Varietal and the Decanter International Trophy for Best Single Red Varietal Wine in the world above £ 10.-
Locally they have received 4 "Five Stars" in the John Platter Wine Guide as well as a multitude of other national and international awards (the complete list of all the awards for our whole range of wines is available.)
The Steytler Pinotage comes from a 41 year old vineyard, matured for 24 months in specially chosen 100 % new Taransaud barrels, a truly powerful wine.
The Steytler Vision is our "vision" of an ideal, elegant Cape Blend: 50 % Cab. Sauv., 35% Pinotage, 15 % Merlot, individually matured for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels, then personally elected and blended together.
In the inaugural Top Wine SA Hall of Fame 2013 Kaapzicht Estate has been named as one of the top 20 Red Wine Producers in South Africa mainly due to national and international accolades received for at least 8 vintages of the Steytler Vision over the past 10 years.
My husband‘s new "baby" is called Steytler Pentagon, - he wanted to complete the Steytler wine range with a full Bordeaux blend. The first release in 2009 is the 2006 vintage, consisting of 70 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 30 % Merlot. The other 3 Bordeaux varietals have been planted and will be added in coming years.
As for dessert wines we can offer a fortified Hanepoot Jerepigo (Muscat d'Alexandrie), which I call "South African sunshine and raisins in a glass" and recently our son created a natural sweet wine called "ICE", and yes you guessed it: part of the grapes have been artificially frozen before being pressed and the rest comes from grapes dried on a bed of straw.
The range concludes with our own South African Grape Husk Brandy (Grappa) and a now 10 year old, double distilled Pot Still Brandy, plus a Grape Juice for those who prefer natural non-alcoholic drinks.
2009 saw the release of our first Cape Vintage Port, made from Touriga National grapes which were sourced from Paarl area (thus the word „estate“ had to be omitted from the label). This delicious wine was fortified with our Kaapzicht Pot Still Brandy.
If someone is interested in a particular wine I can send a fact sheet of the current vintage with description and analysis.
In order to offer our business partners stable prices, we have translated our local agent‘s prices into foreign currencies : we have a price list in Pound Sterling, one Euro price list for all European countries and similarly we have only one Dollar price list which is the same for all American, African and Asian countries.
Our prices are irrespective of quantities ordered to give also the new, smaller importer a chance to compete against a possible large importer in a neighbouring country. Our prices are valid for 12 months, always from the beginning of March until end of Feb every year, irrespective of vintages. When one vintage is sold out we usually have the next one ready at the same price.
WHO ARE OUR BUSINESS PARTNERS?
All around the world our wines are being exported and imported on a verbal agreement of exclusivity for each particular country.
We enjoy building a long term loyal partnership with our importers, (which often develops into private friendship.)
The customers of our various importers are mostly specialized wine shops, restaurants and hotels, and also clubs, private people and associations.
We take great pride in our wines and are trying to build a long term following for our brand. Therefore we also guarantee our wines against any official fault, such as bacteria spoilage and have strict quality measures in place.
As part of our support for our business partners we enter our wines into local and international competitions in order to get media coverage as well as medal stickers on the bottles, which all helps to sell the wines. In addition we try to regularly come to wine shows, do customer visits and give wine tastings whereever possible. When the customers of our business partners come to visit us in South Africa we make a special effort to show them around and introduce them to Kaapzicht Estate. OUR MISSION:
My two Danies, husband and son, make our wines exactly as they would like to drink them themselves: full bodied, round and fruity wines, with a good structure, well integrated tannins and a long finish.
At the same time they are forever trying to improve our wines. Improvement is also the key word for the responsibility we feel for the upliftment of our farmworkers and their families, ~ 120 people who still live with us on the farm.
With the help of the charity organisation "Pebbles" we have revamped the old Kindergarten
or Crèche on the farm and 2 young teachers are now looking after ~ 10 babies and toddlers under 6 years old.
Since most teenagers did not finish school for the reason of unaffordable school fees, we started in 2002 to pay all these school bills for all 42 children of our employees.
In addition "Pebbles" has helped us to start an After-School-Club
, where these 42 youngsters can do their schoolwork under supervision and are being taught games, drama, life skills and different kinds of sport.
We believe better education is the key for the future of South Africa and are trying to do everything possible to prepare our farm children for a better life. When the children go home in the evenings, illiterate adults arrive for literacy classes
and others come for lessons to help them achieve their belated school–end-exam many years after having officially left school.
The people on our farm are avid soccer fans and have organized their own men, woman and youth soccer clubs
. They play every weekend matches against other farm soccer clubs on the field in our valley.
Alongside the soccer field in the valley and in our small ravines on the farm you will find some peacefully grazing horses and ponies. They have been rescued rom a life of misery and malnutrition by Animal Welfare and while now living out their lives in peace, Maryke (who also lives on Kaapzicht Estate with her family) trains them and offers free riding sessions to handicapped children
several times a week.
Since 2000 Danie SNR. is a member of the prestigious Cape Winemaker’s Guild
, an organisation to which only the top winemakers in the country get invited as members. Apart from the annual auction of specially made top pinnacle wines, this famous group of winemakers financially supports the educational carreers of 9 disadvantaged pupils and 2 protegé future wine makers.
We have set aside ~ 2 ha of unspoilt land with endangered "fynbos" vegetation as our private conservancy. All our vintages since 2010 carry the sustainability seal by IPW
(Integrated Production of Wine), which certifies that we have worked environmentally friendly in the vineyards as well as in the cellar.
Although we do not belong to WIETA (The Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association) and are not certified as Fair Trade we work according to their guidelines and we support BWI (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative) as well as all other South African laws.
Wine is our passion, our livelyhood and our life !
We enjoy living in harmony not only within our own family, but also with our surrounding: our farm community, the multiple cultures around us and also with nature.
We are proudly South African! Yngvild Steytler
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