PaardenKloof Estate is situated in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom and represents the epitome of what can be achieved on these beautiful northern slopes of the Babilonstoring Mountain Range.
PaardenKloof Estate is situated in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom and represents the epitome of what can be achieved on the beautiful northern slopes of the Babilonstoring Mountain Range.
The vineyards were established in 2003, but the name dates to the early 1600s when the valley was used by the Voortrekkers to herd their horses on higher ground where they could not be affected by the Tstetse fly that decimated their herds. The farm was therefore aptly named PaardenKloof, meaning “Valley of the Horses” in Dutch – a fitting description when you consider that still to this day you can find wild horses roaming the area.
The farmland itself speaks of even more ancient history, with two age-old rivers originating from the land. These are the Gouka and Leeu Rivers that were used by the Khoisan to sustain their Nguni cattle herds for thousands of years. The name Gouka is derived from the term “gouga” meaning “butter” in the Khoisan language, the product traded between the Khoi and the settlers for generations. Bot River was subsequently named after the shortened, Afrikaans term butter, which is “botter”. “Leeu’ means “lion” in both Dutch and Afrikaans and refers to the roaring sound of the river when in full force.
During the winter months, the perennial Swart Rivier is joined by the Gouka River and reveals the eastern boundary of the farm, while the Leeu River forms a constant, natural boundary on the western side. The Babilonstoring Mountain in the south also supplies the farm with fresh water, and is the highest peak in the Overberg, towering over the valley at an incredible 1945 meters.
Today, the farm is a celebration of environmental intelligence, historical preservation and sustainable farming and winemaking – a tip-of-the-hat (in a way) to the settlers of old.
PaardenKloof Estate was the first to re-introduce a Nguni herd to the area and today maintains a healthy and indigenous herd of Nguni Cattle, organic sheep, 23 hectares of vineyards and a variety of fynbos.