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. The 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 1.7km 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.
The KEERMONT FLEURFONTEIN (‘flower fountain’) derives its name from a beautiful spring on the farm. The Sauvignon Blanc vineyard from which these grapes are sourced lies just below this spring. They use a particular technique to produce raisins in the vineyard, which gives the Fleurfontein its sweetness – their vineyard team use pliers to pinch the stem of the bunches while they ripen on the vine, this pinching action stops the translocation of fluids from the vine to the grapes. This allows the fruit to dry naturally or desiccate on the vine, during the warm summer. They do this pinching process when the grapes are at optimal ripeness in order to concentrate the juice, with the perfect balance of sugar and acidity. The raisins are harvested a few weeks later and the syrupy juice is squeezed from them with a hard pressing process. The grape syrup is slowly fermented by indigenous yeast in Hungarian and French oak barrels and then matured in these barrels for eighteen months.