Welcome to Bartho Eksteen Winery. We pride ourselves on award-winning wines and a location that echoes the beauty of what we offer.

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The Farm

OUR STORY

The History

Ever since our ancestor, Heinrich Oostwald Eckstein (changed to Eksteen due to Dutch influence), settled in the Cape in 1702, we have been involved in wine farming. Setting down roots in Bergvliet, then Constantia and Loevenstein (now Welgemoed) and later Franschhoek, our family has had a passion for vines and wines. It was in Franschhoek that Bartho’s grandfather first tried his hand at winemaking on the family’s farm, La Bri. From here, Bartho inherited the winemaking passion and nose for a vintage, all of which is resonated through his years of achievements in the wine industry.

Looking to 1993, Bartho had established himself as a young – and first new era – winemaker in Bot River, after which he went on to win General Smuts (South African Champion Young Wine) Trophy. This was the first time in the history of this award that it was given to a red wine from “the other side of the mountain” and it was a sure sign of great things to come for the name.

Later on, Bartho became a key figure in the rise of the Wildekrans Wine Estate, helped as a consulting winemaker for Sumaridge and Raka Wines during its first few years of business, was the initiator/winemaker/director of Hermanuspietersfontein Wines (known as HPF) and was also the driving force behind the demarcation of the Sunday’s Glen Ward wine of origin.

His other significant achievements include Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2010, multiple Platter’s Wine Guide 5-star awards, Platter’s Sauvignon Blanc (wooded) of the Year Award and several SA Terroir and UK Tim Atkin MW 95+ awards. The brand also achieved high recognition and praise when our 2013 wooded Sauvignon Blanc was voted Tim Atkin’s best out of 41 *in the world. *

Alongside all of these achievements, Bartho and his team (made up of both family and loyal employees) have been hosting the annual Bartho Eksteen Sauvignon Blanc Celebration since 1993. He has also been hailed by John Platter himself as “Monsieur Sauvignon Blanc and by Neil Pendock as “The Sage of Sauvignon”.

A Personal Philosophy

A strong believer that a winemaker should spend as much time as possible in the vineyard during harvest, he sees the challenges of every vintage as a character-building process that keeps you humble and on your knees. He believes unreservedly in the terroir of Hermanus and its surroundings; known as one of the most extreme areas in South Africa.

Although passionate and proud of his wines, awards and trophies, these are not the only point of pride and passion in his life. Bartho’s focus is also on his family dynamic, which he believes forms an integral part of the brand. His wife has become the master of the culinary side of the brand (under the brand new Maná Eatery name), whilst his son and new wife are both well on their way to becoming acclaimed wine makers in their own right. His daughter has started striving towards her dream as an educator, using the farm premises to mould the minds of the future.

A Brand Design

After Hermanuspietersfontein, Bartho Eksteen created a 2-tier business model: Bartho Eksteen Wines and Wijnskool (Wine School in English). Bartho Eksteen Wines is focused on crafting wines of distinction, while Wijnskool became a wine academy for young, up-and-coming winemakers. Both Bartho and his wife, Suné, are the founders of the Academy, which is a unique concept where they impart their knowledge and passion for all things pertaining to wine; from the art of winemaking, the wine industry, its challenges and responsibilities and production. They hope to aid future generations of winemakers through the Academy and grow their passion from high school and onwards.

Since then, the wines and Academy have flourished into the internationally-acclaimed brands that they are today.

Over his career, Bartho has focused on three specific wine styles:

  • Methode Cap Classique
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Rhône-style blend

Of these three, Bartho’s favourite is his Sauvignon Blanc cultivar

Naming the Wines

It should come as no surprise that the Bartho Eksteen brand names all its wines in Afrikaans, which is Bartho’s mother language or huistaal.

Translations of each name:

  • Professore – Professor
  • Vloekskoot – Lucky Shot
  • Houtskool – Charcoal
  • Groepsdruk – Peer Pressure
  • Dom – Stupid/Dumb
  • Meester – Master
  • Blom – Flourish/Develop/Flower
  • Ouskool – Old School
  • Soetmuis – Sweet Tooth

The Area

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is the home of the Bartho Eksteen farm where Bartho, his wife Suné and their son Pieter Willem run their business. Formerly Attaquaskloof, this picturesque location is situated 4 km from the Atlantic ocean, near the beautiful coastal town of Hermanus in the Walker Bay Wine Region. The area has been dubbed as South Africa’s own Monaco and the best land-based whale watching location in the world.

The benefit of this area is that the cool climate is extremely beneficial for wine production. Gentle southeastern breezes from across the bay make for longer, cooler ripening seasons than is generally experienced in most other South African wine regions. Grapes ripen to their full potential without the dangers inherent to heatwaves experienced inland. The resulting wines retain their fruit elements excellently, are extremely elegant and have a long finish.

Hermanus is also famous for its abalone industry and the Eksteens honour the fact by using an abalone shell on the logo of their Flagship and Signature wine labels. Even the background of the labels reflects a very subtle abalone shell or mother of pearl shine that has established the brand visually.

The hemel-en-aarde valley boasts a wide variety of plant and animal wildlife.

Here is some of bird species that we have seen on our farm over the years

 

Bergpatrys (Grey-winged Francolin)
Bloukraanvoël (Blue Crane)
Bloureier (Grey Heron)
Blouvalk (Black-shouldered Kite)
Bokmakierie (Bokmakierie)
Bosuil (African Wood Owl)
Bruinjakkalsvoël (Steppe Buzzard)
Diederikkie (Dideric Cuckoo)
Donkervlieëvanger (African Dusky Flycatcher)
Fiskaallaksman (Common Fiscal)
Fiskaalvlieëvanger (Fiscal Flycatcher)
Geelbekbosduif (African Olive – Rameron – Pigeon
Geelbekeend (Yellow-billed Duck)
Geelbekwou (Yellow-billed Kite)
Gevlekte Ooruil (Spotted Eagle Owl)
Gevlekte Vleikuiken (Buff-spotted Flufftail)
Gewone Janfrederik (Cape Robin-Chat)
Gewone Kwikkie (Cape Wagtail)
Gewone Mossie (Cape Sparrow)
Gewone Tarentaal (Helmeted Guineafowl)

Gewone Tortelduif (Cape Turtle Dove)
Grootringduif (Red-eyed Dove)
Grootstreepswael (Greater Striped Swallow)
Hadeda (Hadeda Ibis)
Hoephoep (African Hoopoe)
Jangroentjie (Malachite Sunbird)
Kaalwangvalk (African Harrier-Hawk Gymnogene)
Kaapse Bosbontrokkie (Cape Batis)
Kaapse Fisant (Cape Spurfowl)
Kaapse Flap (Yellow Bishop Cape Widowbird)
Kaapse Glasogie (Cape White-eye)
Kaapse Kanarie (Cape Canary)
Kaapse Kapokvoël (Cape Penduline-Tit)
Karoolangstertjie (Karoo Prinia)
Klein-rooibandsuikerbekkie (Southern Double-collared Sunbird)
Kolgans (Egyptian Goose)
Kransduif (Speckled Pigeon)
Meitjie (Klaas’s Cuckoo)

Mikstertbyevanger (Fork-tailed Drongo)
Olyflyster (Olive Thrush)
Oranjeborssuikerbekkie (Orange-breasted Sunbird)
Parradysvlieëvanger (African Paradise Flycatcher)
Piet-my-vrou (Red-chested Cuckoo)
Rooiborsjakkalsvoël (Jackal Buzzard)
Rooireier (Purple Heron)
Rooivlerkspreeu (Red-winged Starling)
Slanghalsvoël (African Darter)
Suidelike Swie (Swee Waxbill)
Swarteend (African Black Duck)
Swartkopreier (Black-headed Heron)
Swartkraai (Cape Crow)
Swartsperwer (Black Sparrowhawk)
Swartsuikerbekkie (Amethyst Sunbird)
Swartwindswael (African Black Swift)
Visarend (African Fish Eagle)
Witgatspreeu (Pied Starling)
Withalskraai (White-necked Raven)

A TIMELINE

A quick look at the history of the Eksteen name.

Heinrich Oostwald Eckstein settles in the Cape

1702

Ever since our ancestor, Heinrich Eckstein (later changed to Eksteen due to Dutch influence) settled in the Cape, our family has been involved in wine farming.

Finding Our Feet

1800's

Over the years, the Eksteens went from Bergvliet, Constantia and Loevenstein (now Welgemoed) and later to Franschhoek.

A Grandfather's Legacy

Late 1900's

In the mid-20th century, Bartho's grandfather first tried his hand at winemaking on the family farm, La Bri. Bartho inherited his passion for winemaking from him.

The Rise of Bartho Eksteen

1993

As a young and first new era winemaker in the Bot River region, Bartho won the General Smuts Trophy (South African Champion Young Wine), which was the first time it was awarded to a red wine from ``the other side of the mountain``.

An Influence

Early 2000's

As his reputation and knowledge grew, so did Bartho's influence. He was a key figure as consultant winemaker for Sumaridge and Raka during its first two years of business, initiator/winemaker/director of Hermanuspietersfontein Wingerde (HPF) and the driving force behind the demarcation of the Sunday’s Glen Ward, wine of origin

Awards of Note

2010

From 2010 onwards, a multitude of significant titles have been awarded to the Bartho Eksteen brand. These include Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2010, Platter's Wine Guide 5-Star Awards, Platter's Sauvignon Blanc of the Year, several SA Terroir Awards, UK Master of Wine, Tim Atkins' best World Class Wooded Sauvignon Blanc and the receiver of the prestigious 95+ award by Atkins.

Relocated The Farm

2015

In early 2015, Bartho and his family relocated their farm up the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, where they currently reside. From here they expand their wine brand and other ventures.

Winey Established

2019

During 2019 the first wines where made in the new winery on the farm.