Situated directly leeward of the Hawequas peaks (1 350 m) and Wellington Sneeukop (1 550 m), Canetsfontein is exposed to down-funnelled winds that accelerate the prevailing summer South-Easter.
These often gale-force winds cool the vineyards, ensure more sun exposure, and allow Canetsfontein’s grapes to be harvested much later than most of other Cape wine farms.
Harvesting later affords the grapes time to develop their ripeness more gradually, despite being on north-facing, and therefore sun-drenched, slopes.
(Premium blocks were harvested between March 21st and 25th in 2016.)
The combination of slow ripening of the grapes and high sun exposure helps shape the special characteristics of Canetsfontein grapes. The resultant wines show concentrated flavours, full bodies, and fruity, complex characters.
Canetsfontein has an average annual rainfall of approximately 950 mm, mainly in winter (from June to September). This is well above the precipitation of most wine growing districts in the Western Cape.
Canetsfontein’s soils are developed from ancient Bokkeveld shale that have undergone intensive weathering and have therefore become acidic. The soils are predominantly reddish-brown, iron-rich, gravelly material, underlaid by structured clay, with soft, weathered, porous shale still deeper down.
The physical properties of these soils contain growth limiting upper layers over a water storing subsoil. These characteristics marry perfectly with the climate and relative high rainfall.