Marion and Brian Smith sold their business in the UK, and after scouring the wine regions of Europe for the perfect place to buy a property, ended up finding it here in Elgin.
Their small farm is planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir… and some apples. Their intention is to keep things small and focused at Elgin Ridge, using no chemicals and letting the ducks (which they hatch on the farm, and hence feature in their label) play a prominent role in pest control. Organic certification has been acquired and The Elgin Valley is one the South Africa’s ideal wine-growing regions for many reasons: A unique confluence of diverse micro-climates with close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean; cooling cloud cover and high altitude and cold winters and adequate rainfall with complex, ancient soils. Grapes in Elgin take longer to ripen on the vines, which means low pH, good natural acidity and perfectly balanced ripe flavours. Very dry Sauvignon (about 2g/l RS), crisp, clean and fresh, with that trademark Elgin minerality. Brian has continued to work tirelessley to develop his retirement project, in fact, he says he has never worked harder although now into his 60s. He has gained Biodynamic certification in 2016 and with the help of friends like Niels Verburg, he is continuing to raise the quality of his wines with every passing year despite the challenging conditions not least 3 years of drought! A real testament to drive and commitment from an Englishman!