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Kaapzicht Estate

Kaapzicht Estate

Kaapzicht is a family owned and run wine estate in the Stellenbosch district of South Africa which is situated on the 34° south line of latitude. The name "Kaapzicht" translates as "Cape View" and derives from the fantastic view from the hills of the winery over Cape Town and Table Mountain.

The Steytler family has farmed here since 1946, and Danie and his younger brother George are the third generation to run the estate. Every member of the 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 runs a small guest house. Danie, the elder of the two brothers, oversees the finances and whatever is happening in the wine cellar, also helping with local sales and marketing within South Africa. His son, Danie Junior, joined the family company in February 2009 as 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 the family wines at Kaapzicht. In 2012 he got married and, because his wife Carin has a bubbly, outgoing personality, is hard working and is extremely passionate about the wines and family business, she was offered a job as local Marketing & Sales Manager. Since March 2013, she has been responsible for all of the sales within South Africa. Yngvild, Danie Senior's wife, has been Export Marketing Manager since 1997 and still loves jetting around the world, visiting business partners and helping to grow their export markets.

Kaapzicht's unirrigated vineyards are grown on old weathered granite soils on the north-western slopes of the Bottelary Hills, in warm, direct sunlight 30km from the Atlantic Ocean and its cool sea breeze. The vines have a perfect combination of everything needed to create full bodied, fruity wines. On 190 hectares, 162 of which are under vine, the plantings are 70% red grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage, Cinsault, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Pinot Noir) and 30% white varieties (mainly Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, some Muscat D'Alexandrie and even less Chardonnay). The estate's old, gnarled Pinotage bush vines are given especially tender care and attention and young Danie Steytler is considered to be one of the top Pinotage producers in South Africa.

All Kaapzicht wines are certified estate wines and therefore have to be made from grapes grown on the Steytler's own property and vinified in their own wine cellar which guarantees consistency of quality.

The two Danies, father and son, make wines in exactly the same style they would like to drink themselves: full bodied, round and fruity, with good structure, well integrated tannins and a long finish. At the same time, they are forever trying to improve their wines.

Improvement is also the key word for the responsibility they feel for the educational improvement of their farmworkers and their respective families, approximately 120 people who live with them on the estate. With the help of the charity organisation "Pebbles", they have revamped the old kindergarten on the farm, and two young teachers are now looking after ten babies and toddlers under 6 years old.

Since most teenagers did not finish school because of unaffordable school fees, in 2002 the Steytlers started to pay the school bills for all 42 children of their employees. In addition, Pebbles has helped them to start an after school club where these 42 youngsters can do their schoolwork under supervision and are taught games, drama, life skills and different kinds of sport. They strongly believe that better education is the key for the future of South Africa and are trying to do everything possible to prepare the farm children for a great future.

When the children have gone home in the evenings, a group of adults arrives for literacy classes and others come for lessons to help them pass their graduation exams many years after having officially left school.

The farmers are avid soccer fans and have organised their own men's, women's and youth's soccer clubs. They play matches every weekend against other farm soccer clubs on the field in the estate valley.

Alongside the soccer field in the valley, and in the small ravines on the farm, you will find some peacefully grazing horses and ponies. They have been rescued from a life of misery and malnutrition by Animal Welfare and while now living out their lives in peace, Maryke (who lives on the Kaapzicht Estate with her family) trains them and offers free riding sessions to handicapped children several times a week.

Since 2000, Danie Senior has been a member of the prestigious Cape Winemaker’s Guild, an organisation to which only the top winemakers in the country get invited to join. Apart from the annual auction of specially made icon wines, this famous group of winemakers financially supports the educational careers of 9 disadvantaged pupils and 2 protegé future wine makers.

Kaapzicht has set aside about 2 hectares of unspoilt land with endangered fynbos vegetation as a private nature reserve. All vintages since 2010 carry the IPW (Integrated Production of Wine) sustainability seal which certifies that all work in the vineyards and in the cellar has been performed in as environmentally friendly a manner as possible. Although not a member of WIETA (The Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association) and not certified as Fair Trade, the Steytlers do follow the guidelines of these organisations and they support the BWI (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative) as well as all other South African laws.

Wine is their passion, their livelihood and their life. They enjoy living in harmony not only with their own family, but also with their surroundings: with the farm community, with the multiple cultures around them and with mother nature.