Whilst the van der Merwe winemaking tradition dates back to the 1800’s, the current generation of proprietors has a dynamic and innovative approach to their operations. The vineyard plantings and viticulture practice is in line with global development and contemporary technology has been incorporated into the Merwida Winery.
The wines, made from selected vineyard blocks, capture the essence of this magical terroir and are nurtured through the winemaking process. Both white and red wines are characterized by rich fruit and subtle spice flavours. The reds are deep coloured and complex yet have soft rounded tannins that enhance the drinkability – this is what makes the wines so special.
It was in South Africa in 1840 that Willem Petrus van der Merwe, forefather of Schalk and Pierre, laid down family roots in the fertile soils of the Breëde River Valley. Since then, this ancient flood plain has been the home of the Merwida Vineyards and generations of the van der Merwe family.
The family originated from the region of Dordrecht in the Netherlands, where their ancestors owned a castle next to the Merwede River. Today, the family lives next to a river remarkably similar to that on their ancestral grounds. The blue band on the bottle capsule symbolizes the river, while the front label recalls the ancestral crest.
From day one, the van der Merwe’s gained a reputation for their achievements. Their adventurous, passionate pursuits resulted in two generations of rugby Springboks. Their trophies, however, were not restricted to the playing fields.
From hunting to winemaking, the van der Merwe’s always set the highest standards and embraced exciting challenges.
Like their wines – the family have always been known for their generosity. Not surprisingly, their charming homesteads often play host to large family gatherings and gracious social events.
Imagine 600 hectares planted in fertile soils that sit on a bed of river stone four metres deep. With vast quantities of silt deposited on top of the stone over the years, the well drained soil has proved conducive to robust, thriving vines. For over a hundred years, the Merwida vineyards have flourished in this ancient flood plain adjacent to the Breede River.
This terroir is well suited to the production of well structured wines that take advantage of the temperate climate – characterized by cold winters and warm summers. Furthermore, light summer breezes ensure that the vineyards are gently ventilated – complementing the slow and balanced ripening process.