Louiesenhof was part of the farm Koopmanskloof which belonged to my father W S Smit (senior). The deed to the farm Koopmanskloof was issued in 1701. The Cape Dutch Homestead on Koopmanskloof was built in 1801.My great grandfather bought Koopmanskloof in 1896. He farmed with wheat, cattle and grapes. Records in an inventory of around 1860 indicate that Koopmanskloof also distilled brandy in those early days, making it one of the very early Cape distilleries. My father started farming on Koopmanskloof in 1948 and increased the farm acreage to 640 hectares under vines. This made it the biggest wine producing estate in South-Africa at that time. In 1993, I purchased the portion of Koopmanskloof now called Louiesenhof from my father. We then formed a trust involving Watergang Farm, Louiesenhof Small Holding and the Watergang Cellar. After purchasing Louiesenhof I immediately started with a soil analysis of the farm to be able to replant the slopes bordering the Papegaaiberg and running over to Devon Valley, with top quality cultivars in the most ideal soil types. Louiesenhof bottled wines were launched on the South African market in August 1996. We are a member of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, the South African Brandy Route and also the South African Exporters Association.
Wines produced in harmony with nature. This natural and ecology friendly way of wine-making started in Europe. Today there is a world-wide awareness of the sensitivity of nature and ecology.In developing countries the emphasis is often solely on development and little consideration is given to nature. Says Stefan Smit, cellar master at LOUIESENHOF, “During the four years I studied Viti- and Viniculture in Weinsberg in Germany, I became intensely aware of the sensitivity of the ecology. Consequently I decided to produce wines in consideration with nature, “with as little tampering with nature as possible.” LOUIESENHOF has a wide range of soils with different slopes, gradients and a variety of micro climates. After purchasing Louiesenhof I immediately started with soil analysis’. With this knowledge we can now replant the ideal cultivars to the correct terroir. A member of the Bottelary Conservancy, Louiesenhof is involved in efforts to preserve endangered fynbos and other rare plant species here, and to clear alien plants.
Louiesenhof wines are produced with a high consciousness of nature and ecology. In the cellar the wines are merely guided – resulting in a product stamped with the distinctive character of its origin. Visit our wine tasting room to experience our wines. PRACTICAL SIDE: Soil analysis – all soils are charted by soil analysts. · This involves the evaluation of the “total” soil – depth, texture, subsoil, drainage capacity, fertility, etc. · On the basis of these analyses decisions are taken with the assistance of viticultural experts as to: · Cultivar – always the best suited cultivar possible on a given stand to produce the highest quality wine. · Rootstock – influences quality, crop size, vitality, disease resistance and pH tolerance. · Planting direction – influences natural airflow and is important in case of prevailing winds. CULTIVATION METHODS With all the basic development correct, the emphasis shifts to everyday vineyard cultivation. · Loosening of soils – breaks up dense underground banks which makes soils more penetrable by water and roots. · Liming – corrects pH of soil, influences pH of wine and promotes soil microbe activity. · Ground cover – a ground cover is sown during the winter which prevents erosion and suppresses weed growth. The following growth season the ground cover forms a layer on the soil which again suppresses weed growth and helps humus build-up in the soil, conserving rainwater. · Cultivation – the minimum cultivation is applied. · Fertilization – minimum fertilization is applied. · Pest management – integrated pest management is applied, using agents that do not affect a wide spectrum of pests and preferably bee-friendly agents. · Crop: Optimum crop timing is very important. CELLAR ACTIVITIES · Only tank presses are used for vinification. · Fermentation takes place at controlled temperatures with genetically stable yeasts. · Red wines are produced the traditional way. · The fermentation completed, wines are treated very gently and cleared with natural agents.
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TEL: +27 21 865 2632
P.O. BOX 2013