THE VINEYARDS

 
 Rhône cultivars 

Kasteelsig Vineyards lies on a cool, east-facing slope overlooking the Kasteelberg mountain with the rural hamlet of Riebeek-Kasteel at its base. With an organic and biodynamic approach to viticulture, natural ecosystems on the vineyard flourish, producing grapes that are nutrient-rich and wines that are flavourful. 
 
Guided by the hot climate, and Oakleaf and Glenrosa clay soils, primarily Rhône, or Mediterranean, varieties are planted on our 27ha vineyard. These include red grapes such as Shiraz, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Pinotage and Tempranillo, and white grapes such as Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Rousanne.
 
During the summer ripening season, the vineyards receive morning sun and are cooled by breezes during the heat of the day before the sun dips behind the hill.

 
 Organic & Biodynamic
 
Although a natural approach has always been taken, in 2012 the vineyard was certified ORGANIC. No chemical fertilisers or pesticides are used, and all fungus prevention is done using only naturally occurring elements in accordance with organic legislation. 
 

   Natural, indigenous growth is allowed between rows with cover crops such as faba beans, vetch and triticale which enrich the soil with organic nitrogen. Organic wine- growing demands constant vigilance and its success lies with increasingly less interference. 
 
 
Cover crops between rows are flattened, not ploughed-in, to minimise disturbance of the soil. The vegetation indigenous to the area, the endangered renosterveldis proliferating on the farm’s uncultivated land, attracting indigenous fauna, such as bat-eared foxes and duikers, that further complement the natural ecosystems of the vineyard.
 
 
 
 

A biodynamic approach to viticulture is fostered, which is based on farming principles which integrate science with the acknowledgement of spirit in nature. It is based on the understanding that a farm is a living organism, and that individual aspects are interconnected and should be managed with regard for how they affect each other. At The Hughes Family Wines, the vineyard is nurtured as part of a greater ecosystem, which cultivates biodiversity and holistic health. Read more about biodynamic principles here
 
 
"Leave the vines in peace"
 
Irrigation
 
Up until 2017, the vines received no irrigation and relied solely on winter rains and natural moisture during the summer. This meant the vines grew hardy, and now produce berries with intense flavours reflective of the soils in which they are grown. However, with the decreasing Cape rainfall over the period of 2015 to 2017, this “dry-land farming” approach has been supplemented with manual irrigation using borehole water. 

 

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