Citrusdal Mountain, located in the western reaches of the Olifants River Valley, approximately 100 miles north of Cape Town, South Africa, is an integral part of the Western Cape region. It’s worth noting that the officially designated Citrusdal Mountain winegrowing area extends into parts of the adjacent Citrusdal Valley.
This mountainous landscape offers a diverse terroir ideally suited for cultivating essential Rhône grape varieties such as Syrah and Grenache. It also provides an environment conducive to cooler-climate white wine grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, renowned for their distinct minerality.
Spanning elevations between 1,600 and 2,200 feet above sea level, Citrusdal Mountain is home to some of South Africa’s highest vineyards. This unique altitude creates a climate where scorching, arid days give way to significantly cooler nights, allowing the grapes to cool and develop complex aromas while preserving essential acidity.
The soil composition of Citrusdal Mountain primarily consists of sandstone and shale. These soil types offer excellent drainage, compelling vine roots to delve deeper in search of water and nutrients. This results in robust plants and wines characterized by distinct mineral nuances derived from the soil.
Citrusdal Mountain has a strong preference for Rhône grape varieties, particularly Grenache, often cultivated in the form of bush vines. This practice is notably prevalent in the Piekenierskloof ward, an exceptional vineyard region with some of the oldest vines in the Western Cape, originally planted as far back as the 1950s. The vineyards of Piekenierskloof contribute the Grenache component for one of South Africa’s most renowned wines, The Chocolate Block by Boekenhoutskloof.