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The Vineyards

The Vineyards
About 95% of the total 1300ha vineyards from which Darling Cellars sources its fruit are in “bush vine” format. About the same amount of the vineyards are un-irrigated as well. The advantages of bush vine are plentiful, but the most important attribute for Darling Cellars is that a bush vine is quite hardened against drought. As the water resources in the area are very limited, the only choice is to plant bush vines.

The natural ability of a bush vine to regulate its yield is of great importance in an area where one cannot irrigate. In a dry year, the bush vine will carry fewer bunches and in a wetter year, it’ll carry more bunches of grapes. This leads to great fruit concentration and a natural balance when the grapes are harvested.

A bush vine also has a deep penetrating root system, combined with the lower clay content in the soils; these roots can get to water resources and richer/more nutrients which are deeper in the soil and not just in the top layers of the soil.

The only way to harvest and prune a bush vine is by hand. This makes it a labour intensive way of doing things, but the advantage of hand picking, bunch selection, gentler handling of the grapes, all outweigh the extra costs associated with bush vines.

With vineyards ranging from 1 to 50 years in age, the detail/intense care taken from forming the bush vine, to pruning it every year and picking it, brings the farmer in closer contact to his vines, so that he in the end knows all the blocks of vineyards in a very personal capacity.

 +27.224922276        +27.864651130
Mamre Station, R315, Darling 7345, South Africa