Tierhoek | Piekenierskloof
Situated in the Olifants River wine region of South Africa and the district of Citrusdal Mountain, Tierhoek is one of the oldest surviving, original Sandveld farms. From 1886 to 2001 it was under the ownership of the Marais family and in 2001 it was bought by Tony and Shelley Sandell. Since then they have carefully restored the old, derelict buildings back to their original Sandveld style and in 2007 the first vintage was made on the farm itself (the first vintage produced under their ownership was 2002).
In total the farm covers 715 hectares, but grapes are not the only crop grown here. There are 150 hectares of Rooibos along with crops of rare, wild Buchu that cover the south facing slopes of the mountains. However, it is clear that grapes, particularly Chenin Blanc, that thrive in this high altitude, cool climate that benefits from rainy, cold winters and long summers, with cool Atlantic breezes to temper the afternoon heat.
The approach to wine production here is environmentally friendly following organic principles, although they do not have official certification. All the wines are produced from grapes grown on the farm, with no fruit bought in. Most of the emphasis is placed on gaining quality in the vineyards, with minimum intervention in the cellar.