Capaia is part of the new Philadelphia wine-growing region, near Durbanville, and constitutes a “wine ward” of its own. In 2005, Capaia was declared an estate (in accordance with the Château principle). Capaia’s entire terrain comprises 140 hectares (approximately 350 acres), and extends upwards across the north-east flank of the Olifantskop. It is located about 30 km from Cape Town and 10 km from the Atlantic.
On the grounds of a former fruit farm Capaia was created in 1997 by Ingrid Baroness von Essen and Alexander Baron von Essen.
The heart of Capaia is the winery, which has been built into the slope at an altitude of 200 metres. It was erected and equipped in line with the specifications stated by Tibor Gál, as well as with the requirements of state-of-the-art wine-making.
The offloading station is located at the winery’s highest point, under the roof. That is where grapes are only de-stemmed and passed on directly into fermentation tanks. For fermentation on skins in the case of red grapes, we rely completely on wood. To be more precise: that wood will be 150-year-old French oak, in the form of 56 fermentation tanks, each with a capacity of 5,000 litres, or 8,000 litres, respectively. They come equipped with temperature regulation, manufactured by Tonnellerie Taransaud in Cognac.
As a rule, red-wine grapes will be left for fermentation on skins for a period of 25 to 30 days. White wine, our Sauvignon Blanc, will be matured exclusively in stainless-steel tanks being six in number, with a capacity of 8,000 litres each. For the maturing of red wines, a vat cellar with 1,500 barriques is available; these were also supplied by Taransaud.
The creation of the wines is consulted by the two internationally known consultant winemakers Stephan Graf Neipperg and Armin Tement.
In accordance with the château principle, our wines are pressed exclusively from grapes grown on Capaia territory. The flagship and trademark of the wine-growing estate is Capaia, a cuvée from the four red grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The soil of our vineyards was the decisive influence behind Blue Grove Hill, the name of our white wine, the Sauvignon Blanc, and our second red wine, a cuvée from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The region’s climate, one of the most wholesome on earth, is beneficial to human beings and vines alike. The Atlantic Ocean is just a bit more than ten kilometres away; variation in temperature keeps within reasonable limits, and precipitation, at 400 mm, is at the same level as that in the Mediterranean region.
The soil on which the Capaia wine-growing estate rests consists of bright-coloured slate containing lime, which dates back to the middles ages of geological history, the Triassic period. Fossils of pre-historic animals can be found here, just as volcanic rock of relative recency. Soil analysis confirmed initial assumptions about excellent water-storage properties and the presence of an abundance of minerals. These perfect conditions permit us to grow sophisticated, high-quality vine varieties on the slate hills of Capaia, thus making Capaia slate the ideal sub-soil for this purpose.
Soil analysis on the De Hoop farm, conducted by Schuster & Le Brun, New Zealand; De Hoop farm purchased from Kousie Loubser.
1997 – 2000
The Capaia Winery entered in the land register; design and establishment of vineyards, restoration of the Victorian manor house; construction of the dam; First meeting with Tibor Gál; from then on, he was supporting Capaia as a wine consultant
Beginning planting vines; Erection of the winery including the installation of initial wooden fermentation tanks made by Taransaud; New house for winemaker and winery completed
First harvest at Capaia; more vines planted; Second part of the installation wooden fermentation tanks from Taransaud
Second harvest at Capaia; Philadelphia becomes “Wine Region”; more vines planted; total hectars planted is round about 58 ha now
Third harvest at Capaia; Tibor Gál tragically dies in a road accident; Stephan Comte de Neipperg assists Capaia as a consulting cellar master; Capaia became estate
Fourth harvest at Capaia; Inauguration of the tractor-hall and the temperature-controlled storage rooms
Fifth harvest at Capaia; Additional office is build for management
6th, 7th and 8th harvest at Capaia