Keermont Vineyards
South Africa - Western Cape

Keermont Vineyards is a family-owned farm located in a back valley outside of Stellenbosch, ZA. The name comes from Keerweder, which is the name of the former farm. A keerweder is a dead end in a valley - it literally translates to 'blocked again', as the early settlers were blocked by the terrain when they tried to pass through the valley. The winery and vineyards are located in the shadow of Guardian Peak (official name is Suurberg). The mountain fruit here is similar to the grapes grown at the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa Valley.

keermont vineyard

Keermont was founded in 2007 by Mark & Monica Wraith, who moved to the Western Cape from Gauteng in 2003. Her purchased Keerweder III farm as well as Fleurfontein farm, joining them into one estate known today as Keermont Vineyards. Their first vintage was 2007, which yielded a tiny crop of around 5 barrels (about 108 cases). The first wines were made in an old spring water bottling shed, before the small winery was built in 2010.

The Keermont farm totals 157 hectares, with 30 hectares (72 acres) of vines:

  • 20 hectares red varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah
  • 10 hectares white varietals – Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier

All grapes used in their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. They are fermented, matured and bottled in the winery. Alex Starey has been in charge of the vineyards and winemaking since 2005. Alex studied Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University; he has travelled and worked in various wine regions including Maipo Valley, Chile; Penedes and Priorat, Spain; St-Emillion and Cote Rotie, France.

alex markAlex Starey & Mark Wraith

Small parcels are harvested by hand and fermented separately in order to produce wines with complexity & depth. Some of the Chenin Blanc vines are 40+ years old & used by De Trafford winery.

Keermont is certified sustainable & follows a natural and traditional winemaking philosophy – indigenous yeast fermentation, no adjustment to acid or alcohol, maturation in seasoned oak barrels, bottling by hand without filtration.

Annual production is around 3,500 cases per year.

Reviews and News

Keermont Estate according to Neal Martin - November 2015 - WA

Keermont Estate according to Neal Martin - November 2015 - WA

wa300"Alex Starey is one of the new breed of Stellenbosch winemakers. I am considering asking the South African authorities to do a selection massale of Alex, maybe take graftings from his hair, in order to create new winemakers that can be distributed across the region. Seriously though, Alex has really put Keermont on the map in recent years with a succession of superb Rhône blends. I asked him whether there has been any recent changes. "We have planted Roussanne and Marsanne recently," he told me. "That is the only major change. The first crop will be 2017 and the idea is to eventually add them into the Terrasse. The 2014 Terrasse was a bigger vintage in terms of production than normal. Predominantly 30% of fruit comes from the old Riverside block and is supplemented with Chenin Blanc from Low Ride and a new plot - Bobbejaan vineyard, which apparently the baboons still love. They still eat a few grapes. Chardonnay will come in next year from the old terraces that were farmed in the 1970s. I've been trying to capture the freshness, so I had to pick quite quickly in 2014, but we can't push it too far." Needless to say, these are outstanding wines that do the reputation of Stellenbosch no harm at all, attesting to the quality of their terroir. - Neal Martin."

- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (November 2015)

Go To Keermont Riverside Chenin Blanc


Keermont Estate according to Neal Martin - April 2017 - WA

Keermont Estate according to Neal Martin - April 2017 - WA

wa300"Keermont Vineyard is one of leading lights of Stellenbosch, enjoying a rapid ascent under winemaker Alex Starey and all documented here in The Wine Advocate in recent reports. I asked him about current developments at Keermont. What's coming up? "We have evolved a lot in recent years," he answered. "We have planted a couple of new blocks of Roussanne and a tiny amount of Marsanne. Hopefully they will fit into the Terrasse, otherwise we will have to introduce a new blend. We took out an old block of Merlot that had been terribly planted at the time and was battling the conditions. The land is fallow, but we'll plant some more Syrah, giving us another hectare. We are nearly at our full capacity now of 100 tonnes and we will cap it there as we only want estate fruit. Other than that there are no major changes apart from selling in new markets such as Japan." It was another strong selection of new releases from Keermont. I was smitten by the 2015 Riverside Chenin Blanc, likewise the two Syrah labels, Topside and Steepside (perhaps there is a "Backside" in the offing?). These exuded complexity and sophistication, wines that will develop long-term in bottle, but convey a sense of approachability. Their sweet wine Fleurfontein is also exceptionally pure and mellifluous, perfect nectar to finish off a dinner. Exciting times lie ahead for Keermont.. - Neal Martin."

- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue #230, April 2017)

Go To Keermont Riverside Chenin Blanc


Keermont - Wine Advocate 2019

Keermont - Wine Advocate 2019

wa"Keermont Vineyards winemaker Alex Starey and I hopped in his SUV and trekked up the hill to look at his vineyards tucked neatly into the corner of Stellenbosch, where he pointed out his Syrah vines for the Steepside and Topside vineyard designates, which are located at about the same elevation on opposing slopes. The range of Keermont represents good quality with something for everyone. - Anthony Mueller"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019)



Producer Details
South Africa
Wine Production Area
South Africa - Western Cape - Coastal Region - Swartland
Mark & Monica Wraith
Alex Starey
72 acres (30 hectares)
Grape Varietal(s)
Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Mouvedre, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Roussane, Viognier, Marssanne
Age of Vines
up to 40 years
Annual Production
3,500 (9-liter cases)