The Goose Wines is based in the Upper-Langkloof appellation, which is found in the majestic Outeniqua Mountains on the world-famous Garden Route of South Africa. The Upper-Langkloof is arguably the coldest wine growing region in South Africa.
These extreme climatic conditions ensure complexity of fruit and unique grapes that are hand-crafted into world-class wines. After hand harvesting the grapes are transported to cool-rooms, where the temperature is maintained at 4 Degrees Celsius for 12 hours to keep the grapes cool. Upon arrival at the cellar the cold grapes are sorted before being crushed and pumped into open cement troughs. There the juice is allowed to ferment on the skins for 8 to 14 days, extracting the vital character and colour from the grapes into the wines as it develops. Malolactic Fermentation is completed in imported French Oak Barrels.
The Goose is styled into classic and elegantly structured wines by ageing it in these barrels for a further 18 to 24 months for the reds, while the cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc is kept on the lees for a number of months in stainless steel tanks. The maiden vintage of The Goose Expression was a 2005 blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. In 2008 the first single-vineyard The Goose Sauvignon Blanc was released captivating wine lovers imaginations immediately.
The wines in The Goose portfolio have an elegance about it which is a direct result from the unique, colder Upper-Langkloof climate, with a high natural acidity, which ensures great longevity. The end result is wines with which displays the ultimate combination between Old World elegance and structure and New World fruit and body.
The name on the Farm’s Title Deed is “Ganzekraal” which means “Goose Enclave”. The farm and surrounding area was given the name over a century ago when Wild Geese from the area flew down during the day to rest in the cattle and sheep closures. They would forage on the seeds and pips in the feed, while the animals were out on pasture. This behaviour was especially prevalent during the times of drought.
Now more than 100 years later Retief Goosen introduces the world to his unique wines from his farm in the Upper-Langkloof valley on the Garden Route of South Africa. There are 5 large dams on the farm that host various Water Fowl, including the “Spur-Winged Geese”, Africa’s largest and heaviest fresh water Geese.
Retief, often called “The Goose”, is known as one of the coolest customers in the world of golf. Fittingly, the wines that carry his name are also produced in one of the coolest regions in the Western Cape with the Indian Ocean lurking only 24 kilometers to the south..this also fitting as he currently stands on 24 international victories, 7 PGA TOUR victories and 3 additional victories.
On the farm you’ll also find the “Altitude T-Box”. With its panoramic views over the farm, mountains and the valley, visitors to the farm can practice their golf swing while sipping on some Goose Wines produces from the surrounding vineyards.
It is not only said of wine, but proven over centuries, that it is indeed “the vineyard that makes the wine.” If, The Goose Wines were to be the home of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc then it would be fundamentally up to the soil and climate to ensure that the grapes deliver their optimal blueprint in terms of excellence of flavour.
After years of research, we had inkling that the conditions at The Goose Wines were ideal for cool-climate varietals of distinction.
By 1999 we had planted 6 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, which was followed by 6 hectares of Shiraz in 2000. Following the success of the first 2 varietals planted the year 2002 saw an additional 6 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc added to the expanding vineyard. Currently we have plans of adding maybe some Pinot Noir to the vineyards, which will be a mere 4 hectares. The focus is on quality not quantity and these small blocks of plantings ensure us to concentrate of every row of vines, resulting in our wines being pure, natural and of the highest quality.
The annual average rainfall is between 250mm and 300mm. Strong and cool summer winds rush in on-shore and rise over the 5000ft Outeniqua Mountain range cooling even more. These winds bring in cold and moist air which cools the valley during summer to temperatures between 20 to 23 degrees Celcius, while the nearby Karoo bakes away at 40 degrees Celcius.
This extreme terroir motivated original owner to install a weather station to research the best area for the planting of vineyards in 1993. Soil samples and profile holes were sunk to determine the soil types and structures, to accurately determine the proper vine selection of cultivar for planting. It was found that the valley has an annual temperature of only 17 degrees Celcius (very cold for South Africa!).
The soils are from Table Mountain sandstone and shale combination, deep stony red soils were ripped for drainage on various slopes on the farm.
Bennie is our Farm Manager who is responsible for managing our farm & vineyards and who has the very important task of making sure we have the best grape harvest that we can possibly achieve each year to fulfill our wine dream. We sometimes forget (when pouring a glass of wine) that all that tasteful pleasure began in the vineyard, with a lot of determination, hard work and endurance.
He loves nature, has a hands-on approach and is very passionate about growing different grape cultivars in a very unique area for a wine farm. He takes pride in ensuring high quality grapes for the best quality wines and we love to motivate and encourage him in the important role he plays. He believes in diversification and also established a great herd of beef cattle on the farm.
He also has a passion for the animals, makes sure we maintain our BWI status and always finds ways to farm as organic as possible. He is our rock on the farm and we thoroughly enjoy his excitement with every harvest each year.