“One is rarely given a legacy of stature similar to that of Cordoba for safekeeping. When one receives such responsibility, you accept it graciously with both hands.
Here, high on the slopes of the Helderberg, vineyards have been nurtured with devotion and dedication for the past century or more. The outcome has been the crafting of wines with remarkable character, which are a true reflection of their origins.
As family and team it is our sole purpose to continue building on this rich legacy and to safeguard this terroir, as the custodians have done so diligently before us.”
– Lorraine Oddo
The South African specie of Rhus L. commonly known as Taaibosch or ‘Sticky Bush’ is an indigenous and prevalent fynbos specie found on the slopes of the estate. When handled, this plant has a sticky (taai) texture to it, which gives credence to its descriptive name.
Since the redevelopment of the Taaibosch property, a rigorous regime was adopted to clear all alien vegetation from the estate and to rehabilitate it with natural flora, indigenous to the Cape.
The Taaibosch surface area footprint consists of 55% natural flora and 45% vineyard plantings and buildings.
“Minimalistic intervention is a vision we have embraced for the wines of Taaibosch. To achieve this, we have implemented the most rigorous organic principles to both our viticultural and oenological practices.
To farm organically is a culture, a disciplined way of working and a lifestyle. By achieving this, we believe we are able to stay true to the integrity of our wines, thereby giving to our patrons wines that have been made in a natural and organic way. “
– Schalk-Willem Joubert
The origin of the Helderberg mountain lies in the culmination of ancient soil movement and formation. The profile today is predominantly Table Mountain sandstone resting on Cape Granite, but on the northern slopes, one also finds an exposed layer of weathered Malmesbury shale. It is on this formation and consequential soil deposits, that Taaibosch is located, making it unique for the area.
Malmesbury shale deposits date back to the Precambrian geological era 600 million years ago, into which granite magma later imposed itself approximately 100 million years later. Table Mountain sandstone was subsequently deposited around 450 million years ago.
These formations and the soils derived from them are regarded as the most ancient soils upon which viticulture is practiced today.
Taaibosch Estate is situated at an altitude of between 230 and 350 meters above sea level and is located barely 7.7 km from the False Bay shoreline which lies to the South of our vineyards. The combination of altitude and proximity to the Antarctic currents of the Atlantic Ocean, allows for a natural cooling system to exist. It is the exposure to this unhindered inland movement of cool air during the summer months which in particular contributes to the slow ripening of our grapes. A desired effect for those wanting to achieve optimum ripening for quality winemaking. These prevailing sea breezes have an additional benefit of protecting the health of our vines in summers where rainfall or humidity levels tend to be higher than the norm.
Our rainfall is limited primarily to the winter months with an average of 635 mm per annum. The temperatures experienced during the ripening period fluctuates between a daytime temperature of 25°C to an evening temperature of 15°C.
Situated on the lower contours or foothills of the Helderberg Mountain, one will find our vineyards to have a predominantly westerly facing. Our 180° vista entails Cape Point to the South, Cape Town to the West and the Simonsberg Mountain to the North. Our vineyards therefore enjoy an unhindered view over False bay and the Cape Peninsula.
On the lower reaches of Taaibosch our Cabernet Sauvignon is planted at an altitude of approximately 245m above sea level. The aspect however climbs steeply to an altitude of 385m above sea-level where our Cabernet franc can be found planted on the slopes. Our Merlot vineyards are nestled on the middle reaches of the estate.
Minimalistic intervention is applied throughout our winemaking process. Once handpicked, our grapes are carefully brought to cellar for quality sorting before entering the cellar environment. Our cellar system is gravitational to allow for gentle handling of our grapes and primary juice throughout the initial phase of vinification. This ultimately gives our wines a refined tannin structure characterised by balanced tension and longevity, not only in taste but also in terms of aging ability in bottle.