A NAME THAT Anchors
Baleia, Portugese for Whale, is the only producer in the Lower Duivenhoks River. Jan-Hendrik Joubert was the maverick who came across the unique limestone soils, laden with rich, salt deposits.
With pH and minerality levels that are literally off the charts, his curiosity resulted in planting vineyards despite the harsh, rugged and remote location
Baleia faces the full brunt of the elements, and farming here is not for the faint of heart. An ever-present south-easterly wind that batters the vineyards, along with the rock-hard soils, make growing conditions difficult. This invisible force causes the struggling vine to yield a small crop of concentrated berries with thick skins which give good tannin.
The Baleia terroir is characterised by extremely cold winters, low rainfall and relentless summer winds coming off the ocean. The hard, agglomerated soils make drip irrigation not only crucial but the timing of watering becomes an art. Baleia thrives in this environment, producing wines that reflect the wines of rock that they are grown in.
All great wines are born from a special location. In the case of Baleia, it is a terroir unlike any other in South Africa. In fact, we are the first and only winery in the Lower Duivenhoks ward near the remote hamlet of Vermaaklikheid on the Cape South Coast.
The Lower Duivenhoks River branches out over 83 km from the Langeberg Mountains in Heidelberg to where it runs into the sea at St Sebastian Bay, a life-giving artery in an otherwise arid region. The mineral-rich soils and harsh, cold climate here allow us to make wines that are vividly expressive of their maritime origin.
Growing grapes in this rugged, extreme environment has taught us a deep respect and understanding for nature. At Baleia we have a holistic mindset that extends beyond winemaking.