The Dumas family has been making wine on the Jacobsdal estate for three generations, with present owner Cornelis Dumas helped by his son Hannes, who will eventually take over the reins. Cornelis ascribes his success with natural fermentation to healthy grapes and a clean cellar.
Situated between Stellenbosch and Kuils River, the Jacobsdal vineyards are planted on the slopes of the hills overlooking False Bay, less than 10 km away. The soil of the 85 ha planted to bush vines has a gravelly, sandy loam structure with yellow clay as its base.
A broadly organic approach is followed in growing the vines, and kraal-manure from the mixed farming with sheep and cattle on Jacobsdal is used extensively as fertiliser in the vineyards.
Good drainage and water-retention make it possible to produce quality grapes – small berries with an intense concentration of flavour – under dryland conditions. None of the vines are irrigated. The vineyard rows lie in line with the direction of the prevailing summer wind, the south-easter, which not only cools down the vineyards but also keeps the vines healthy reducing crop-spraying to the minimum.