Covid-19 update

We are so excited to reopen our doors to all of our beloved clients.

Strict Covid-19 procedures will be routinely followed for your safety.

We are open for tastings Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00 for sales

Saturday from 10h00 to 13h00 for tastings only.

Online sales and deliveries will continue throughout the week.

About Bonnievale Wines

To those looking for a real wine experience that is truly unpretentious, BONNIEVALE WINES promises delightful wines that consistently exceed expectations. Our passionate and skilled wine-makers can select the best grapes from a large expanse of vineyards, accessing an amazing diversity of our area’s varied terroir. We bottle only the very best of each vintage, assuring quality for the wine lover. Our wines are as welcoming and soothing as the beautiful valley that produces them. Evocative of an elegant country lifestyle, the wines invite you to become part of the real-life stories of the people rooted here.

The Story of Bonnievale

A tale of passion, commitment and collaboration

Our tale begins when momentum for agricultural settlement took hold in the early 1900s. At the time, one Christopher Forrest Rigg (1861 – 1926) grew excited with what he saw with his first visit to this valley between the Langeberg and Riviersonderend Mountains.

Never one to go with the flow, Rigg knuckled down, shaping his dream through sheer hard work and dedication. He set about obtaining land the Breede River and dividing it into irrigation plots for private purchase.

Then he turned his attention to irrigation and what would become a historic turning point. With irrigation, Rigg realised, the valley’s potential could be unlocked.

A small attempt had been made in 1898 at channelling water, but it was short-lived due to the steep Olifantskrans not far from town.

Rigg, who had moved to the area in 1900 with his wife Lillian, constructed large wooden channels, supported by pillars, and secured to the cliffside at the impenetrable Olifantskrans. The first water reached Bonnievale that same year.

That early canal wasn’t ideal – it leaked and regularly failed during deluges of winter rains. A new plan was hatched and on New Year’s Day 1906, Rigg used explosives to take the canal through the obstacle (his father had been a dynamite blaster in Barberton). Back then, newspapers described the undertaking as “the greatest engineering project of its time in South Africa by one man”.

His pursuit to attract farmers began by laying out five-acre plots. An elaborate recruitment brochure highlighted soil conditions, climatology and geographical features, agricultural possibilities, transport facilities and even shipping fares.

He also lobbied the New Cape Railway company for trains to make regular stops in the area.

Soon, a town was born. Bonnievale’s first town council was established in 1922 and the first municipality was declared in 1953. Streets were tarred and electricity was supplied in 1951. Municipal water was made available two years later.

Rigg sowed the seeds for Bonnievale as it is today and named it too. This Scottish colloquialism for a “happy valley”, was inspired by Rigg’s birthplace in Scotland.

Among the traces of his legacy is a magnificent church. The cornerstone of the Norman style building was laid in 1921, while the building itself was the deathbed wish of the Rigg couple’s seven-year-old daughter, Mary Myrtle, who’d contracted meningitis.

Christopher Rigg died in November 1926, while on a sea-journey. He was buried at sea. But not many years later, the fruits of his agricultural schemes were important to a contemporary development. A giant of South African wine was on the rise.

Back in the early days, Rigg called the Bonnievale valley “the chance of a lifetime”. At Bonnievale Wines, we would go as far as describing our wines as something more. It is the sum of natural beauty and a deep-rooted community; long-honed experience leading to impeccable matching of varieties to terroir; knowledgeable selection of fruit in its prime; a spirit of collaboration; and, custodial approach to the land.

Elethu spreads its wings

Elethu farm has just completed its seventh harvest – a testament to sound foundations of this Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment initiative proudly under the wing of Bonnievale Wines. To boot, the Workers Empowerment Trust that owns the 60ha farm takes full control of operations at the end of May 2020.

This rise of one of South Africa’s first full-circle BBBEE wine projects represents a milestone for all involved: a black-owned farm; with black-owned and managed vineyards; black-managed winemaking and the coming of a black-owned wine label.

Elethu was established in 2007, with fertile river-fronting land donated for the initiative by the Langeberg Municipality. Its name means “ours”, in Xhosa.

Following careful preparation, 10ha of vineyards comprising predominantly Sauvignon Blanc, Nouvelle and Colombar were planted.

The plantings have since expanded to 16ha, with Cabernet Sauvignon already a strong feature. Its proven quality grape production was again demonstrated with the most recent harvest.
Key to the initiative has been the strong mentorship by vastly experienced grape producer members who have generational know-how of the region’s conditions, and the highly skilled winery staff of Bonnievale Wines.

Wine has been farmed in the Bonnievale Valley for over a century thanks to its inimitable suitability to produce outstanding quality of fruit. Here, a diversity of soils, micro-climates and aspects matched by passion underlies the character of every bottle bearing the name of Bonnievale.

While Elethu supplies fruit to Bonnievale Wines, the workers receive training in aspects from management to viticulture.

In addition to the advantages of ownership that have empowered the trust’s 30 beneficiaries, the enterprise has created indirect benefits for the families that are also sustained.

The change in operations at the end of this month sees the departure of the commercial farmer who has co-farmed with the trust’s farm manager. Now all employees will be paid by the trust.
Furthermore, the significant improvement in capacity of Elethu’s irrigation dam has improved drought-resilience and ensured an adequate supply of water for the future.

With its winemaking strength enhanced by the overseeing of the project by winemaker Edwin Mathambo, new projects have also come on-stream. The trust purchased several new oak barrels to mature Cabernet Sauvignon wine for release under its own label by the end of 2022.

It is also scheduled over the coming year to plant an additional eight hectares of vines, comprising 2.7ha of Cabernet Sauvignon; 2.7ha of Merlot; and, 2.7ha of Chardonnay; and, the SA Wine Industry Transformation Fund has approved funding for essential infrastructure upgrades.

 

Meet Bonnievale Wines

Bonnievale Selection

Spoilt for Choice

The fertile land in the Bonnievale valley boasts a variety of geology, geography and climate, creating a varied terroir that is evident in the grapes produced here.

Over more than half a century Bonnievale has produced wine from the fertile land in the Bonnievale Valley. The area extends to within 100km from the ocean and includes two rivers (the Breede and Riviersonderend) and hills and mountains that offers a variety of slopes and micro-climates.

Bonnievale’s wine makers get to play with this rich palette, picking and choosing from the treasure chest of terroir potential. With the strict policy of ‘only bottling the best’, Bonnievale Wines has managed to establish a reputation for consistently over-delivering on quality.

Nature Range

The River Collection

Sparkling Wine

Barrel Select

Limited Release

South Africa’s wines keep getting accolades (iol)

South Africa’s wines keep getting accolades (iol)

Bonnievale Wines stood proud among the medal-winners at the esteemed Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. The panel of experts pointed out the exceptional quality of its wines that Bonnievale makes available at accessible prices. The Bonnievale The River Collection Sauvignon...

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Bonnievale Wines Racks up the Awards (Eats, Play, Drink)

Bonnievale Wines Racks up the Awards (Eats, Play, Drink)

BONNIEVALE Wines triumphed at the SA Young Wine Show, snapping up trophies at the regional and national events, and in consecutive years too. Once again, the quality of Bonnievale wines and resilience of its vineyards were on display when the winery was named regional...

read more
Bonnievale Cabernet Sauvignon Scores a Hattrick (Galore SA)

Bonnievale Cabernet Sauvignon Scores a Hattrick (Galore SA)

Bonnievale Wines has triumphed at the SA Young Wine Show, snapping up trophies at both the regional and national events this week, and in consecutive years too. Once again, the quality of Bonnievale wines and resilience of its vineyards were on display when the winery...

read more
Bonnievale Cabernet Sauvignon Scores a Hattrick

Bonnievale Cabernet Sauvignon Scores a Hattrick

BONNIEVALE CABERNET SAUVIGNON SCORES A HATTRICK Bonnievale Wines has triumphed at the SA Young Wine Show, snapping up trophies at both the regional and national events this week, and in consecutive years too. Once again, the quality of Bonnievale wines and resilience...

read more
Bonnievale Shines at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show

Bonnievale Shines at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show

Bonnievale Wines stood proud among the medal-winners at the esteemed Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, announced this week. Most notably, the championship’s panel of experts pointed out the exceptional quality of its wines that Bonnievale makes available at accessible...

read more

Contact Us

We’d Love to hear from you

Telephone +27 (0) 23 616 2795
+27 (0) 23 616 2800
Fax +27 (0) 86 427 2764
E-mail:
Arina Steyn: info@bonnievalewines.co.za
Geraldine Fourie: tastings@bonnievalewines.co.za
Postal Address Bonnievale Wines
P.O. Box 206
BONNIEVALE
6730
Cellar hours for wine sales and tasting:
Monday – Friday: 09h00 – 17h00
Saturday: 10h00 – 13h00
Sunday: Closed
Public Holidays: 10:00-13:00

Closed on Easter Weekend, Christmas Weekend and New Year.

GPS Coordinates

S33° 57’27’’E20°06’06”

Bonnievale

GPS Coordinates

S33° 57’27’’E20°06’06”

Download our Corporate Brochure:

 

Bonnievale Cellar Merwespont

Bonnievale Cellar

Bonnievale Cellar Nordale

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