Stellenbosch, South Africa
See Hartenberg wines we sell
Hartenberg Estate's 99 hectares of vineyard comprise a total of nine different soil types and many different aspects and microclimates. This demands that site specific planting be fully researched so as to determine the suitability of the match between the respective varietal and its planting site. Only in 2008 will all the vineyards be fully planted which means that in 15 years a total of 59 hectares of the Estate will have been replanted to varietals which thrive on their site- specific location. The ongoing planting program has focussed on past strengths and early results have shown that the new vineyards, although young, are adding an extra dimension to the Estate's wines. The six site-specific varietals that have been planted, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinotage, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are the backbone of Hartenberg's future. So as to protect the vines in years with significant heat peaks and the resulting drought conditions, all vineyards that are part of the re-planting program have drip irrigation lines. Their presence means that vine stress can be minimised as a result of judicious application of water.
The region experiences a Mediterranean climate with distinct seasonal influences. The Estate is located on a north/south axis that allows the vineyards the maximum benefit from the Cape's two prevailing winds (the north-wester in winter and south-easter in summer).
The minimum mean annual temperature is 12 degrees Celsius and maximum, 26 degrees Celsius. The average degree days experienced is 3000 (Celsius) with an annual average rainfall of 600mm.
Frans Snyman as viticulturist is tasked to ensure that the Estate's vineyards provide the highest quality grapes each vintage. To do so he relies on a focussed team of 43 permanent staff. In Spring and Summer each year Frans also relies on the input that is provided by computerised weather stations that is situated in different vineyards. The program downloads information such as wind speed, humidity and temperature, every fifteen minutes. This information is used in the planning of the spray program, as well as for the overall vineyard management. Since the introduction of the unit, the amount of spray applications required have reduced significantly and it has taken the Estate's commitment to its Integrated Pest Management System to new levels.
Hartenberg Estate boasts a cellar that is fitted with state of the art equipment that allows for gentle, yet efficient, handling of the grapes each vintage. The process that determined what equipment was necessary was a long one given the increased innovation in grape receiving, crushing, de-stalking and pressing technology. A selection of 52 stainless tanks, varying in size from 1000 to 16000 liters, all with internal cooling plates, allow for the grapes of individual vineyard sites to be kept separate through fermentation. The arrival of computerised pumpover and punch -down programs for red varietals allows for the required colour and flavour extraction and assists in creating wines that fully identify their source. Also critical in the production of quality wine is the ability to separate the free run juice that is extracted through the weight of the berries alone. This adds an extra dimension when blended with the juice obtained as a result of pressing the skins. All fermentation tanks have a valve fitted by which the free run juice can be obtained.
For extended oak maturation the Estate has two temperature and humidity controlled barrel cellars that are able to hold 2000 x 225li barrels most of which are French oak. Each vintage requires the purchase of 400 new barrels that are used through two fills for the premium wines, and then for Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz maturation. The length of time any wine spends in wood is decided by the quality of each vintage and its resultant wine quality and barrels are tasted on a regular basis to monitor the maturation.
BOTTLING AND LABELLING
With the new plantings coming into production a new line comprising time-efficient state-of-the-art equipment was installed in 2000/2001. The Otto Sick bottle washer/dryer, MBF Monoblock filler, Nortan capsuler and Kosme self-adhesive labeler further guarantees the quality of all wines bottled by the Estate. The new labeler allows for improved quality of presentation of the final product.
Carl Schultz has been with the Estate since 1993 and in this period has modernised both the wines and the winery. As both winemaker and director of Hartenberg he is tasked with fulfilling the owners' requirement to make wines that best reflect Hartenberg's unique location. Working with him in the cellar are five permanent staff. At time of harvest this swells to eight who work in two twelve-hour shifts so as to efficiently receive, sort and process the grapes through the cellar.