Cederberg Private Cellar
Cederberg Private Cellar – “Wines With Altitude”
Cederberg lies about 250 km north of Cape Town. This vast region encompasses approximately 162 000 ha of rugged mountainous terrain, stretching from the Pakhuis Pass behind Clanwilliam in the north, to Grootrivier in the south, towards Ceres. Forty-six kilometres inland from the N7, between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam – with two mountain ranges separating the farm from the Olifants River – lies Cederberg Private Cellar on the farm Dwarsrivier. It is the highest wine farm above sea level in the Western Cape at 1036m. All the water used on the farm comes from free-running mountain springs that feed the Dwars River, which originates west of the Sneeuberg Mountain.
Winemaker David Nieuwoudt leads 'a team with attitude' to produce award winning wines from our high-altitude vineyards. The secret behind his ‘wines with altitude’? A unique terrior and a pure, virus-free environment.
Cederberg has been awarded Conservation Championship status by the WWF for the production of wine. This means that Cederberg has the highest rating that a vineyard can achieve in relation to the sustainable production of wine, as well as being environmentally friendly. The vineyard currently operates on 80% solar power.
A Brief History of Dwarsrivier and the Cellar
The San and Khoi people inhabited the Cederberg area from early times, leaving behind a rich legacy of rock art. It was only during the mid-1800s that another tough group of people set foot in the Cederberg – the Nieuwoudt family. The first Nieuwoudts arrived in South Africa during the early 1700s. Nearly 100 years later, their descendants moved to the Cederberg. In 1893, the present family moved to the farm Dwarsrivier, which is also known as Cederberg Private Cellar. Six generations ago, no one would have predicted that this rugged, fynbos-covered area on the edge of the Succulent Karoo biome would one day become a high-altitude wine farm in the Cape winelands. The farm itself lies in the Cederberg Wilderness Area and only 66 ha are under vine. Today, this award-winning winery is owned by David Nieuwoudt – proudly fifth generation. Emma, David’s daughter, is the sixth generation.
Many stories have been told about ‘how it all started’. Maybe the first Platter’s guide to South African wines (1980) puts it best: “Oom Pollie has confounded the experts by producing prize-winning wines on his farm high in the remote Cederberg Mountains. He first started making wine for the farm workers with table grapes that ripened too late to be taken in by the nearest co-operative. The venture was so successful, he decided to try his hand at making red wine, and the first vintage in 1977, though too small to be certified, was acclaimed by experts as being up to Superior standards”.