Stellenbosch, South Africa
See Ken Forrester wines we sell
Before moving to the Cape and buying a wine farm, Ken Forrester was very successful in the restaurant business in Johannesburg. The Cape winelands had been calling and in 1993 Ken bought a farm that was in a rundown state, but it had a lot of history and an ideal location. Situated in the gorgeous Helderberg region of Stellenbosch, near False Bay, the farm Zandberg had originally been granted by Simon van der Stel in 1689 to a German settler. Interestingly, the German settler changed his name to Botha and was a predecessor to President Botha of the old South Africa. The farm changed hands a few times, and then as happened with many other Cape wine farms, the cellar became rundown and the grapes were sold to a co-op for many years in the 1900s. Major renovations were required in the vineyards and the centuries old buildings. The timing was good for Ken, who got in right as South Africa was beginning a renaissance in its wine industry.
In the 20 years since 1993, Ken Forrester wines have found their place as one of South Africa’s top producers of Chenin Blanc. Ken is of the firm belief that South Africa can produce world class wines from Chenin Blanc, and he is not alone. The results have been impressive, with his wines earning numerous awards locally and internationally. Chenin Blanc can be made in a variety of styles, from simple, fresh and fruity, to rich and complex, to dessert wines. Ken Forrester producers several different Chenin Blancs, including the FMC (Forrester Meinert Chenin, named for Ken Forrester and winemaker Martin Meinert) which is made in very small quantities and is one of South Africa’s most praised white wines.
The Helderberg region is named for the Helderberg mountain which stands tall and proud between Stellenbosch and Somerset West. The slopes of the Helderberg face False Bay which provides some cooling effect and this area is known for producing wines of high quality. Ken Forrester also makes a Grenache Mourvedre blend which is particularly well suited to the soils. A “Petit” range of wines under the Ken Forrester name all comes from fruit brought in from other locations and is for every day consumption. The Ken Forrester range comes from fruit grown on the property. Coming from a restaurant background, Ken Forrester now boasts one of the Cape’s best wineland restaurants, 96 Winery Road, which is a culinary destination and has been featured in the Wine Spectator magazine.