Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink! How
green is our valley! How ripe our vines! Treat them mean to keep them keen!
vision started early in the 2000’s when Babylon Farm was purchased and careful
progress has seen this farm transformed into a vineyard farm to rival the best.
Situated in the folded mountains above Hermanus, in the well-known wine
district of Walker Bay, the La Vierge vineyards have been planted on the varied
shale slopes of the Bokkeveld series. These deep and medium fertile
clay-based soils have allowed us the perfect palette to create our vinous
Throughout the ages man has seen the greatest success with vineyards
planted to soils that will feed the vines with just enough nutrients and water.
This is where we’ve taken things a step further and manipulated the current
popular norm. We’ve decided to allow our vines to be planted and to grow and
ripen grapes each year without the installation or addition of irrigation. In
the beginning, in mid winter, at planting stage, our vines’ thirsts are
quenched by plentiful winter rains and so on from year to year. Our clay soils
act as deep reservoirs that are brim filled in winter which then slowly release
their moisture throughout the cool summer growing season, to feed the vines.
The benefits of this practice are that the vine develop deeper and
larger root systems from the very first stages to better feed and adapt to the
rigours of growing up and perfectly ripening the precious bunches of grapes.
Deeper roots translate into the roots searching for nutrients deeper down in
the soil profile. This in turn sees the vine better able to withstand difficult
growing seasons where conditions may be less than perfect and, as such
represent a truer reflection of site and terroir. It’s almost like taking out
an insurance policy from the very first day. The vine is forced from a young
age to set itself up to ‘weather’ the years with less than ideal weather
Furthermore, our vines are
planted more closely together which increases competition and decreases the
size of the vines and crops. These smaller crops allow greater concentration of
flavour, texture and complexity in the wines. We’re learning to work more
carefully with our soil and develop improved cover crop management techniques
in order to better protect the valuable home in which our vines gather the
vital ingredients to ripen the bunches of wine.