Nestled on the banks of the Breede River in Robertson, lies the family-run and ever popular Springfield Estate. The ever popular SpringField Estate Life from Stone Sauvignon Blanc and Springfield Estate Wild Yeast Chardonnay showcases the absolute philosophy of Winemaker Abrie Bruwer that good wine is grown and not made.
The SpringField Estate family heritage
Springfield Estate is owned by 9th generation descendants of the French Huguenots who established the estate in 1688 and today is run by brother-and-sister team Abrie & Jeanette Bruwer. The pair follow a hands-on approach when it comes to overseeing the operation, with involvement in everything from preparing the rocky Springfield soils for new plantings to the coordination of the marketing of the wine both locally and abroad.
Good wine is grown, not made
Springfield Estate is fortunate to have many different types of soil types with 70% of the land consisting of quartz rock. The remaining land is also rich in lime with soil that is similar to those found in Burgundy plus sandy loam soil derived from the banks of the Breede River. They say that the best wines are grown where the vines struggle for survival and the team at Springfield Estate believes just that.
“By recognizing these differences in terroir we have been able to make complex, terroir-driven wines from site specific vineyards. Each vineyard is planted in a site with the perfect conditions for that specific variety and style we desire.”
No risk goes unrewarded, but…
The Springfield Estate philosophy is to produce wines as naturally as possible and so great care is taken to ensure that minimal intervention and even unfiltered wines are produced. Springfield Estate wines are made according to traditional and ancient methods.
Their minimal intervention approach calls for natural fermentation using natural wild yeast as found on the grape skins. This is an unpredictable & volatile process that takes months and is impossible to guide. 80% of the harvest is fermented in this way and most wines are bottled unfiltered. This is a high-risk approach which – although it mostly pays off – does lead to lost vintages every few years. This is a small price to pay for the Springfield team, who value honour at any price.
The Springfield Estate Cellar
The Springfield Estate cellar dates back to 1902 and with the exception of some necessary changes, not much has changed. No pumps, crushers or presses are used in the red wine cellar. Instead, grapes are transported using a gravity flow system and fermented whole. This process minimises spoilage and damage to the delicate berry and conserves the highly regarded expression of Springfield terroir.
The winemaking process
A combination of traditional methods and modern technology allow for the production of handcrafted wines that respect the estate’s motto; Made on Honour.
There is an understanding at Springfield Estate that modern technology is used to confirm what the farmer can determine just by looking at the vines. At the end of the day, human intuition overrules technology.
The winemaking process is kept as uncomplicated as possible – the aim is to leave the wine to make itself – with intervention limited to the vineyard. In the cellar wine is left to develop as naturally as possible. This allows for the most honest expression of the estate’s terroir.
Their efforts haven’t gone unrecognised, either. The estate is awarded across multiple platforms year after year. They make regular appearances on the podiums of many sought after awards committees, like the Platter’s Wine Guide and Internationally recognised Decanter awards.
Buy Springfield Estate Wines online
Springfield Estate wines are available from your favourite wine retailer, Cybercellar.com from as little as R129 a bottle. So go on, stock up and savour what this family-run winery has to offer.