Founded in 1997, the 42ha estate on the bench of the Simonsberg Mountains with its unique vilafontes soils, served as the fuse to our vision. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec confirmed its affinity to the ancient soils that has been dated as being somewhere between 750 000 and 1.5mil years old. Planted at high density, these vines adhere to the exquisite struggle; encouraging smaller vines, lower yields and highly concentrated fruit. Vilafonté wines are exclusively from grapes grown on our property.
Although there is much variation in the climate of the Western Cape, the biggest influence on wine growing in South Africa is the presence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The cooling maritime influence has created what can be described as a Mediterranean climate. Wet and cold winters paired with long dry summers create an extremely favorable environment for the production of fine wine. A vineyard different by design of ancient vilafontes soils low yielding small vines harvested by hand individual berry selection unfiltered and barrel aged limited production.
Vilafonté is the first American and South African joint wine-making venture within the global wine community. This ground-breaking unique red wine project is a partnership between a well respected group of `quality driven` wine specialists from South Africa (Mike Ratcliffe) and the United States (Zelma Long & Phil Freese). Vilafonté is the first winery in South Africa to be focused on producing wine specifically for the US market. The Vilafonté team blends a unique combination of knowledge, skills, international perspective, and international recognition. The Vilafonté project aims to create the first Luxury Wine brand from South Africa.