The first settlers to cultivate the virgin land of the estate now known as Hartenberg were friends Cunraad Boin and Christoffel Esterhuizzen who were granted permission to work 60 morgen (20 ha) of the land in 1692. Even then the wine-bearing potential of the soil was recognized and one of the first tasks that the two partners undertook was the clearing of the land to plant 2 000 vines.
The estate, on the slopes of the Bottelary Hills bordering Stellenbosch Has been owned since 1986 by the MacKenzie family. They strive to safeguard Hartenberg and are proud members of Biodiversity and Wine (BWI) and Integrated Production of Wine (IPW). The estate is home to plentiful wildlife and over 120 species of birds – inspiration to combine the best of nature with fine wine.
Picking time of the grapes for this 100% Merlot was decided by tasting, thereby ensuring optimal ripeness. All grapes were handpicked and sorted in the vineyard, de-stemmed and lightly crushed. The grapes were cold-soaked and then inoculated with French-sourced yeast. The must was fermented between 24 and 26° Celsius and pumped over daily. An extended maceration took place, followed by fractional pressing. After settling, the wine went to French oak for malo-lactic fermentation.