It’s hard not to fall in love with Broad Valley farm. From the fynbos-clad Kleinrivier Mountains that rise behind it to the south, to the emerald patchwork of pastures and wheat fields that carpet the valley floor to the east and west, it’s a captivating corner of the Overberg. It’s little wonder then that David and Leigh Kretzmar snapped up the 105-hectare property when it came on the market in 2009. But what began as the Kretzmars’ dream of ‘a simple country plekkie’ has blossomed into one of the most exciting new cool-climate vineyards in the Western Cape.
While the initial dream was for a simple country getaway for family and friends, David explains that they ‘soon realised that if we want to look after this land properly we need to make the farm commercially viable, for it to become sustainable’. After dabbling in the cultivation of French black truffles, and debating the merits of commercial lavender, the couple decided to focus on viticulture. Situated just 10km from Walker Bay, its location at the northern end of the Hemel-en-Aarde valley has gifted the farm with the perfect terroir for growing the classic Burgundian cultivars of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
In 2010 the first 4.6-hectare vineyard of Pinot Noir was planted, followed in 2015 by a further hectare of Pinot Noir alongside a 4.7-hectare block of Chardonnay. ‘We didn’t want to be a one-trick-pony, and Chardonnay does extremely well in the nearby Hemel-en-Aarde valley,’ says David, who expects the first Chardonnay harvest in the 2018 vintage.
The 2014 harvest was the first to be bottled. The grapes for the first Broad Valley wines were handpicked in the cool of the night and vinified at a nearby cellar. After 11 months of barrel maturation, the maiden vintage from a farm reborn was finally in the bottle. Now on their 2015 vintage, which has a deep fruity taste mixed with a savoury foundation, Broad Valley is fast making a name for itself in the wine industry.
But wine is not all this vineyard produces. While the vineyards take pride of place on the upper slopes of the farm, on the plains below the original homestead the family has also planted five hectares of olive orchards to produce the unique Broad Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Planted with a blend of FS17, Frantoio and Coratina cultivars to ensure complexity in the oil, the groves are hand-harvested and cold-pressed on-site in a modern Oliomio press. This careful blending of cultivars ensures a medium-bodied extra virgin olive oil with an appealing palate of olive leaf, pine seed and lingering pepper. Undoubtedly, the oil is delicious, but equally memorable is the striking packaging that pays homage to the endangered Blue Crane, a regular visitor to the farm and an icon of the Overberg region.
The Broad Valley Pinot Noir 2014 retails for R195, while the Broad Valley Pinot Noir 2015 is R215. A 2-litre container of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be bought from the farm for R350. Visit broadvalleywines.co.za for more details.