Did you know that the oldest vine in South Africa has reached her 250’s birthday in 2021? Well, she is nestled in the heart of Cape Town at the Cape Heritage Hotel in Bree Street, not to far from the company gardens in her full glory. Hennie Huskisson, head wine maker of Cloof Wines in Darling has made her wellbeing his number one priority.
This vine is considered the oldest fruit-bearing vine in the Southern Hemisphere, and after testing it in France, it was determined that the vine, which was planted around 1771, is Gross Chenin Blanc and not Grouchen Blanc (Riesling) as initially thought.
Hennie refers to the vine as ‘The Old Lady’ and ensures that he sets up regular dates to visit her and ensure that she remains taken care of. By August she is ready to part with her harvest and allows Hennie to prune the grapes.
While this gem has suffered though many years of neglect and scorching summers, vandalism and minimum water, she has delivered 10 bottles of 750ml MCC in 2017 and in 2019 20 bottles of 750ml MCC. In April 2021, she birthed 18kg Chenin grapes resulting in 20 bottles of 375ml half bottles.
In November 2020 Hennie and his team donated and planted babies of this vine back in the company gardens, where she was originally planted in 1771.
For her 250th birthday, Hennie and Joe has extended her vines over to a new trellis in an effort to extend her lifetime with at least another 250 years.
Catch her on her very own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oldest.vine/