excellent wines ...
The history of our wine farm can be traced back until the year 1818. Originally named “Good Success” and owned by Dutchman Daniel Johannes van Ryneveld from Amsterdam, this vast farm extended to most of the catchment area in the valley enclosed by the Simonsberg, Kanonkop and Klapmutsberg. Later on it was divided in three farms: Warwick, De Goede Suces and the remainder of the farm Good Success, which has become Laibach in 1994, when entrepreneur Friedrich Laibach realized his dream of owning a vineyard.
Today the deep red soils have been replanted with virus-free new clones and a new winery has been built. The picturesque Laibach vineyards are flanked by the renowned vineyards of Kanonkop, Warwick, Marklew and Lievland.
Ultimately, our wine quality is forever linked to the land where our grapes are grown. Site selection is essential in the making of fine wines, because flavour starts in the vineyards. The Simonsberg terroir with its lean deep red soils (Glovelly, Glenrosa) and cooling maritime winds from nearby False Bay is ideal for red wines of body and complexity.
The unique meso-climate produces grapes of concentrated fruit and excellent structure. The various heights of our North-East facing vineyards ensure ripening at different times, allowing each vineyard block to be hand-harvested at optimum ripeness. Around the Simonsberg vineyards have been cultivated and wine made for over three centuries. The premium quality of the Simonsberg wines is proved by an array of awards.
At harvest, we look for fully matured grapes. We then handle them with extreme care, gently moving them into the winery, where the whites are destemmed and pressed. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks.
The red grapes are also pampered. After careful selection the red grapes are fermented the traditional way in open fermenters with regular manual punch downs and pumpovers for 10-12 days. After an extended maceration before pressing and a setting the red wines are gently fed via gravity into our underground barrel maturation cellar, to be aged for 12-18 months in small oak barrels, where they undergo malolactic fermentation.
We try to make wine in the most traditional and natural way while using the most advanced preserving technologies. We try to maximize soft handling and to make the best of what mother nature gives us on this unique viticultural terroir – wines that reflect both the identity of the different grape varieties and the terroir.
Dr. Petra Laibach-Kühner
CHAIRMAN & PROPRIETOR
From Heidelberg, Germany, she visited South Africa on Easter 1994 for the first time with her husband Dr. Rudolf Kühner, fell immediately in love with the Country and acquired the winefarm on behalf of her father Friedrich Laibach. As a biologist and physician she was the driving force behind the conversion of Laibach to organic and sustainable farming methods.
MANAGING DIRECTOR & VITICULTURIST
Born in Ceres, where he finished his matric year in 1987. Then he joined the national defence force. He studied at Elsenburg Agricultural College and went to work for a fruit farmer for 3 years after his diploma. He was appointed in 1994 as farm manager. Michael is responsible for the vineyard side and the general running of the farm and has been appointed as a director in 1998. Michael gained a lot of experience in organic farming methods.
Francois van Zyl
WINEMAKER & CELLARMASTER
Born in Robertson, where he finished his matric year in 1993. He studied at Elsenburg Agricultural College for 3 years. After being the top student and winning the KWV award for the viticultural student of the year, he was selected as one of the ten students to be trained as winemakers. After the completion of his studies he went to France for 4 weeks, touring all the major wine regions. Stints at Valserrano (Bodega de la Marquesa) and Bagordi ( both Rioja, Spain) followed in 2001. Gaining very good experience working in Bagordi, one of the best organic producers in Rioja. This was followed by seasons in Pomerol (Chateau Bonalgue, and Clos du Closher), on the left bank and Serbia.
FINANCIAL AFFAIRS & CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
I will be the one to introduce you to the Laibach wines when you come and visit us on the farm. I finished my studies at Stellenbosch University in 1993 and did internal auditing for more or less five years. I joined the Laibach-team in June 1998 and will be here for many more years to welcome you as our customers and to look after Laibach’s financial affairs so that we can offer you the best quality wines at affordable prices.
Dr. Rudolf Kühner
HUSBAND OF THE CHAIRMAN