In 2003, the Wraith family, originally from Gauteng, bought two adjacent farms which today make up Keermont Vineyards. Mark Wraith lives on the farm with his wife, Monica and their four children. Keermont Vineyards are situated high up in the Blaauwklippen Valley, otherwise known as Paradyskloof (paradise gorge). The Blaauwklippen River, which bisects the farm, is also the boundary between the Helderberg and the Stellenbosch Mountain Range. This means that some vineyards are on the warmer north-facing Helderberg slopes and others on the cooler west-facing Stellenbosch range. The altitude climbs 200m within the 1.7 km length of the farm and the vineyards are planted between 250m and 400m above sea level.
The mountainous terrain and differing soil types provide pockets of excellent and varied terroir. These pockets are separated by tracts of pristine mountain Fynbos and Renosterveld, endemic to the Western Cape as the Wraiths and their team believe all the natural vegetation encourages the accumulation of natural predators and deterrents to those organisms that may attack vineyards. They endeavour to use fewer chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and to irrigate as little as possible. Only grapes grown on Keermont Vineyards are used in the production of Keermont wines.
Keermont Cabernet grows in our Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity. They blend in a couple of barrels of other varieties to add to the complexity of flavour and tannin structure.
Small batches of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 28 months maturing in seasoned French oak barriques before being bottled by hand without filtration on 9 July 2020. 5692 bottles and 100 magnums were produced. The Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 was bottle aged in our cellar for 12 months before release to ensure integration and improved drinkability.