Quoin Rock Wine Farm is a 158 hectare piece of land that lies on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in the premier wine producing region of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The Simonsberg Mountain is made up of layers of sandstone in various stages of geological metamorphosis, forming part of the Table Mountain Sandstone complex. Beneath the sandstone there is a large granitic intrusion which is believed to have formed the many folds and cracks in the sandstone layers. Vineyard altitudes range from about 150m above sea level on the lower mid-slopes to 600m above sea level for the higher mid-slopes providing a range of different micro climates – all with a general southerly exposition. These micro-climates result in vineyards producing fruit with distinct differences lending complexity to the final blends in the cellar.
The Wine Maker - Carl Van der Merwe
Carl's philosophy is to make wines that people can relate to with as little intervention in the process as possible. He shies away from making big, beefy wines preferring more approachable wines with subtle nuances of flavour that marry better with food. He is keen to make wines that express the different characteristics of site and vintage.
Though the approach in the winery is very much 'hands off', in the vineyard, the opposite is true. They try to do everything as naturally as possible following organic principles (they have chosen not to seek certification though valuing the need for scientific intervention when appropriate) But the subtle wines which Carl says have 'astonishing freshness' show that it is an area worth watching.