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”.