Overgaauw – true to our roots.

Our winemaking approach.

Wine that’s true to its roots means a respect for land and legacy – as our winemaker David van Velden describes it: “At Overgaauw, our enduring focus is to express a sense of place in all our wines… This is what our unique terroir deserves – and I imagine it’s what the three generations before me expect as well.”

A respect for the land means we make wines best suited to our exceptional terroir – a respect itself handed down from generation to generation. Third-generation Braam van Velden initiated extensive soil mapping on the farm during the 1970s, and we continue to upgrade the vineyards and engage meticulous viticulture practises to ensure the highest quality fruit the site and vintage has to offer. In the cellar, our focus is on retaining as much of the varietal’s unique Overgaauw character as possible – with no quick fixes or cheap tricks, and a judicious use of wood.

Terroir

“At Overgaauw, our enduring focus is to express a sense of place in all our wines and to increase the purity and accuracy of fruit in every bottle. This is what our unique terroir deserves – and I know it’s what the three generations before me would have expected as well.”

– David van Velden, fourth generation winemaker

Overgaauw is situated at altitudes of 100 to 220 metres above sea level, in the undulating landscape of Stellenbosch Kloof. The hillsides boast Hutton and Clovelly soils – deep, well-drained and weathered granite. The lower sites feature loamy, gravel soils. 20ha of vineyards are planted east to west and face south and south-west – towards the Atlantic Ocean just 15 km away. The ocean sends cool, afternoon breezes to curb extreme summer temperatures.

In the near distance, the Helderberg Mountain shelters vines from the Cape’s fierce South Easter gale – enabling the leaves to continue their work undisturbed. These distinct factors combine to produce grapes with high natural acidity; ensuring wines of backbone, balance and longevity.

Winemaking Philosophy

Our pioneering spirit and love of innovation are grounded in time-tested tradition and a respect for what came before. Heritage is not just a concept; it’s a soil, roots and fruit reality lived out daily on our century-old estate, a legacy-rich terroir worked by four generations of Van Veldens.

The original cellar was built in 1909 and forms the literal and symbolic landmark from which further renovations and expansion have developed. Original vats purchased by each of the first three generations remain features in the cellar – not just as majestic, 4 000-litre monuments to Overgaauw’s history, but also as functional vessels for wine maturation.

While our cellar is a source of great pride, ultimately, we believe that great wine is made in the vineyard. This means that we make wines best suited to the terroir, regardless of fluctuating market trends. A number of meticulous viticulture practices maintain the natural balance in the soil, optimising conditions for the highest quality of fruit, and ensuring that the varietals’ unique characteristics and flavour profile are expressed. Retaining this quality and character is the focus of cellar activities, with minimal manipulation employed.

We first explored the use of wood during the early 1970s – as one of the first Cape farms to use small, French oak barrels for the maturation of red wines. Our philosophy is based on the wood acting as a ‘frame’ for Overgaauw’s unique terroir and the cultivar paints the ‘picture’, never overpowering but adding dimension.