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Hartenberg

Hartenberg's story began in 1692 when two friends, Cunraad Boin and Christoffel Esterhuizzen, were given permission to cultivate the land that is now the Hartenberg estate. They were granted 60 morgen, (about 20 hectares), which they cleared and planted with 2,000 vines. In 1704 Esterhuizzen became the first official owner of the farm when he was granted the deed to “Het Hartenberg”, and by 1718 he had increased the vineyard to 10,000 vines. Jacob Van Bochen bought Hartenberg in 1725, along with the adjoining Weltevrede farm, and the two properties were combined, forming the Hartenberg estate as it is today. The Hampf family acquired Hartenberg in 1928, Mrs Hampf extended the vineyards and her husband became first official winemaker on the estate. 1948 saw Dr Maurice Finlayson and his wife Eleanor acquire the property and, realising the farm's true potential, began to market their wines under the “Montagne” label. Their two sons were to go on to become gifted winemakers, renowned in the South African wine industry; Peter, at Bouchard Finlayson, and Walter at Blaauwklippen. In 1977 the Gilbey's became the new owners of Hartenberg, releasing the present Hartenberg range as their flagship brand in 1985. Then in 1986 Ken and Megan Mackenzie came along. They had visited Hartenberg on their honeymoon in the Cape in 1952, and the seeds were sown then to later buy it. Sadly Megan passed away in the prime of her life. Ken never remarried and today their two daughters run the estate. Hartenberg are located in a valley on the slopes of the Bottelary Hills in Stellenbosch. The climate here is Mediterranean and the soils are poor and gravelly, perfect for the cultivation of quality grapes. Their underground cellar is the largest privately owned cellar in South Africa, and the label on their “Doorkeeper” range of wines depicts the historic doors of the cellar, where their wines mature to perfection prior to bottling. The Stork Shiraz is so named because Shiraz is not only Ken's preferred grape variety, but “Stork” is his nickname. He was a fighter pilot in WW2, and “Stork” was his call-signal owing to his long-legged tall physique. Gravel Hill Shiraz was the first single vineyard Shiraz produced in South Africa, and the Hartenberg Shiraz is the award-wining wine that made them famous. Although Hartenberg are particularly known for their red wines, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are also grown. Carl Schultz has been their cellar master since 1994, crafting soft, yet rich and elegant wines. As well as making sublime wines, Hartenberg are also passionate about the environment and play an important role in biodiversity and social initiatives in the region.