In 2000, Cobus Kotze built a cellar on his family farm on the south west facing slopes of the Kasteelberg just outside Riebeek
Kasteel in the Swartland of South Africa. Meerhof cellar pays tribute to Danish explorer and surgeon Pieter van Meerhof who
was employed by Dutch East India Company between 1652 and 1661. Van Meerhof married Krotoa, a famous local Kuena
queen, translator and revolutionary. He was first to explore the area of Riebeek Kasteel.
The first vines were planted on Meerhof in 1751 by Kotze’s ancestors. Today, the 150 ha mixed farm is planted to 25 hectares of
shiraz, chenin blanc, pinotage, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. In 2009 industrial engineer and entrepreneur Herman
Redelinghuys joined Kotze. While they share the cellar, Mount Abora was created alongside the Meerhof farm. Subsequently,
Mount Abora was planted to 10 hectares of shiraz, grenache noir, tempranillo, cinsaut, roussanne, chenin blanc, with
mourvedre, macabeo and verdelho to follow.
The soils are deep shale and schist and the vines are farmed essentially as dryland vineyards with supplementary irrigation to
counter the extreme hot and dry conditions just before ripening. The vines are mostly planted on south and west facing slopes
to optimise the benefit of shade, whiles the elevation of about 300 meters above sea level ensures cool night temperatures.
What makes us special?
Winemaker Johan Meyer crafts the wines of both Mount Abora and Meerhof. We make natural wines, using zero commercial
yeast and no other modern winemaking preparations. We harvest our grapes earlier at no more than 23,5 ° balling to not only
ensure lower alcohol levels, but to retain the brightness and life of our carefully tended grapes as they transform into the wines.
We liberally use whole bunch fermentation on red and white wines, and allow post fermentation hot maceration on skins and
stalks. We are proud members of the Swartland Independent movement.
Meerhof specialises in Crozes Hermitage style shiraz and new wave oxidatetively-made chenin blanc under the Meerhof label as
2012 vintage. Its 30 year old bush vine pinotage is transformed into a wine named Manifesto, of which the maiden vintage is
Mount Abora is reviving the South African work horse grape cinsaut, while we are driven to make the Swartland’s pinot noir
from this forgotten grape. This is called Saffraan Cincaut, whilst a light and dry style rosé has seen the light under the Saffronne
label. Mount Abora The Abyssinian 2012 is a Rhone style blend based, whilst Mount Abora Koggelbos Chenin Blanc 2011 leads
the way for a future white blend.