Eagles’ Nest was originally a section of Groot Constantia established by Simon van der Stel in the late 1600’s. It apparently operated as a commercial farm producing export fruit, as well as vegetables for the local market, up until the 1960’s. Over time the farm has had a number of owners but since 1984 it has been managed by the Mylrea family.
Following a devastating mountain fire in 2000 which destroyed all of the natural fynbos vegetation and Protea plants, as well as approximately 95% of the forestation, the focus of the farm was moved to wine and about 12 hectares (out of 38.5 hectares) were planted with vines. With its east, west and north facing slopes it is the steepest commercially farmed land in the Cape region, if not in all of South Africa. The land is located just over ten kilometres from the warm False Bay coastline and is in the direct path of the summer trade wines.
The re-establishment of the natural fynbos on the estate was also prioritised. 25 000 Silver Tree seeds were planted as well as thousands of proteas, ferns and other fynbos indigenous to the area. Eagles’ Nest now proudly houses one of the largest Silver Tree plantations in South Africa. The majority of seeds and plants were sourced from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
The survey beacon situated on the cliffs that rise up above the vineyards is labelled Eagles Nest, perhaps indicating that these crags once housed a breeding pair of eagles. If so, it is most likely that they would have been a pair of Black Eagles, now known as Verreaux’s Eagles (aquila verreauxii). There is now only one pair of Verreaux’s Eagles in the Table Mountain National Park that maintains a nest on a cliff face some six kilometres from Eagles Nest’s upper boundary and Eagles Nest has committed to support the Western Cape Raptor Research Program in their endeavours to conserve this nest.
Grapes were hand-picked and cooled overnight in a specialised cooling room to 5ºC. The following morning the whole bunches were placed in a pneumatic bag press and gently pressed recovering about 60%. The juice settled overnight in a stainless steel tank, after which only the premium clear juice was racked off to 20% first fill 500L French Oak barrels 40 % second and 40% third fill French oak barrels. The fermentation temperatures were relatively low, peaking at 18ºC. After 6 months maturation the barrels were blended together and the wine allowed to harmonize before being bottled.