HARTENBERG (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Hartenberg has been farmed since 1692, passing through a number of different ownerships until Maurice and Eleanor Finlayson purchased it in 1948. They owned Hartenberg until 1977. Besides producing good wine, the Finlaysons also produced two sons, Peter and Walter, who were to become renowned South African winemakers in their own right.
On 1 January 1987, Bermuda-based businessman, Ken Mackenzie, purchased Hartenberg, having seen the potential that the perennial under-achiever offered. At a time of great political instability and much disinvestment in South Africa, his move was brave, to say the least.
To this day, long after Kens death, his daughters continue a programme of investment in the farm, focusing on three key areas: the replanting to specific sites of some 55 hectares of premium varietals, the development of production facilities, and the upliftment of knowledge and skills for labour and management.
The Mackenzie vision, though extremely ambitious, remains simple: to do whatever it takes to produce wines of outstanding quality by anybodys standards. To create only what winos call “the good stuff”.
Hartenbergs location in the Bottelary Hills certainly gives it every opportunity
of producing “the good stuff”. Carl Shultz has been winemaker since 1993, and at the forefront of the family-owned estates quality drive.
The estate focuses on just six core varieties (red wine is 80% of production). Sustainable farming methods are utilised, and all waste material recycled. The estate is, furthermore, a member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, with a 65-hectare wetlands area that is home to more than 100 bird species.