A Passionate conversation with Cellar Master, Nico Grobler, from Eikendal Wine Estate

Excellent wine, excellent setting with passion – Eikendal Wine Estate

Today I was invited to visit the farm and learn more about it. Not that Eikendal is new to me, as we went there for the past 5 years and we love their wines! The setting is beautiful and kiddies friendly, with the restaurant there as well.

Oh boy was I in for a surprise. I never knew there was so much passion and precision behind the scenes, something that came out of their wines, but which one is unaware of.

From the moment I met Nico he was warm, friendly and I could see the passion that he has for the farm and the wines. He’s got a clear vision of the future and knows exactly what he wants and produces. He studied at the the university of Stellenbosch and straight after that he began working at Eikendal. He worked there during harvest time and like he told me every Friday he received his week’s wages in a brown envelope, him and his wife enjoyed it at Gino’s in Stellenbosch every Friday night during harvest time. Later on he was appointed as assistant winemaker and today he is one of the youngest Wine Cellar Masters in the industry.

He took me out to the vineyards where he explained how the terroir, the setting of each block of vineyard, are situated in that specific position for optimal benefit. He is the “Daddy” of each block. He passionately told me about the new blocks that he planted and he is especially excited about the bush vine Shiraz that he planted. Like he said, when he stands on the hill of the farm overlooking the vineyards, he realizes the influence around him that plays a role on his vineyards – Table Mountain, Helderberg, Stellenbosch and False Bay surround the farm.

There is such passion and love on this farm. Almost all of the workers stay on Eikendal, with some of them being the 3rd generation working on the farm. During harvest time, Nico believes that they must have at least one meal together daily.

Nico is a true inspiration to me. He is hands on from the vineyards, making the wine and – get this – he goes to Burgundy once a year to visit the forest where his barrels are being made. How amazing is that! Talk about being hands on. The wine that you are enjoying, has so much love and passion put into it, no wonder the wines have won numerous awards.

I asked Nico about the recent water shortage and the effect it has on the vineyards. He said “like the vineyards, we got everything inside of us to survive and adapt to our circumstances” and that “suffering builds character.” This philosophy is what he seeks in a great wine.

This visit was truly a remarkable day for me. There are so many wines to pick my absolute favorite- being a red wine drinker is their Cabernet Sauvignon.
Eikendal in Stellenbosch is an easy 40 minute drive from Cape Town. It has a lot of activities like cellar tours, vineyard walks, fly fishing, a cheetah outreach program, food & wine parings and a play area for the kiddies.

Giovanni’s@Eikendal restaurant is situated next to the tasting room.
Read more about their pizza and wine pairing here. Starting the 1st August


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