History - Haute Cabrière

The history of Haute Cabriere dates back to 22 December 1694 when the French Huguenot Pierre Jourdan, was granted a piece of land in Olifantshoek – today known as Franschhoek – which he decided to name after his home town, Cabriere. In the early 1980’s Achim von Arnim – then still Cellar Master at Boschendal – purchased a portion of this land, with his vision firmly set on the idea of producing wines in the style of the Champagne region. Following the tradition of the famous French Champagne houses, he planted the noble cultivars of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to produce his first Champagne-equivalent, known in South Africa as Cap Classique, and named this wine in honour of the original pioneer, Pierre Jourdan. A few years later, Achim discovered another piece of land – now known as Haute Cabriere – on the slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains, which reflected a similar type of terroir which he had encountered during his time as a student in Burgundy. He fondly recalls the day that the clay of Haute Cabrière stuck to the soles of his Levi’s boots in exactly the same way it did when he worked the vineyards of Burgundy. To him, this offered the inspiration to utilise the potential of these perfect growing conditions by producing a Burgundian-styled Pinot Noir and a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. And so, from its humble origins, the venture which until then, Achim had pursued more or less on the sideline to his daytime position at Boschendal, grew to encompass a beautifully serene underground cellar built into the side of Franschhoek Mountain, which Achim opened exactly 300 years after Pierre Jourdan had been granted Cabriere – on 22 December 1994.

A New Generation

With Achim’s wife Hildegard hailing from the famous German Mosel wine region, the passion for wine runs in the family, and it is only natural that their eldest son Takuan von Arnim – who has essentially grown up in the family business – is now responsible for the continuous development of Haute Cabriere’s wine portfolio. Today, Haute Cabriere’s range of wines encompasses two Cap Classiques – the Pierre Jourdan Brut and Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose, as well as a selection of still wines – the Pierre Jourdan Tranquille, the Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir, the Haute Cabriere Pinot Noir and the revolutionary Haute Cabriere Unwooded Pinot Noir. All wines are fantastically versatile, to be enjoyed on their own or with a variety of different foods.