A family owned and run wine estate in the Stellenbosch district, South Africa, which is situated on the 34° Latitude South. The name "Kaapzicht" (Cape View) comes from the fantastic view from our hills over Cape Town and Table Mountain.
The Steytler family has farmed here since 1946 and Danie and his younger brother George are the 3rd generation owners of the estate.
Yngvild Steytler writes....
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 Mandyrents out a venue for weddings and parties and also a small guesthouse. My husband Danie 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 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 has been 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 with their 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 hectare 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.
For our "flagship" wines under the "Steytler" family name we select the very best barrels, all 100% new French oak, and blend them 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.
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.