At the southern-most tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, one finds the 'Cape of Storms', or more commonly, Cape Agulhas. On this peninsula lies the Elim ward and Overberg region, the source of the grapes for Indwe Sauvignon Blanc, made by Trizanne Barnard. Indwe is the Xhosa name for the Blue Crane, South Africa's national bird. It is an endangered species and endemic to South Africa, particularly the Overberg region. The Blue Crane is very special to the amaXhosa and amaZulu, often associated with warriors and royalty.
Owner and Winemaker Trizanne Barnard had enjoyed a productive vinous career. With a BS of Agriculture under her belt, she stepped into the real world of wine, completing harvests in Western Australia, Alsace, Bordeaux, Rhone and Douro Valley. She returned to South Africa, and after a year at Klein Constantia and a successful four year project in Helderberg ,she decided to create her own project. Trizanne Signature Wines was founded in 2008.
The historic mission settlement of Elim on the Agulhas Plain comprises 6,500 hectares of land. Elim was
established in 1824 by Moravian missionaries, and sacramental wine was required for church services. The first vineyards were planted over 100 years ago, however viticulture didn't fully establish until 1997.
Half of the land in Elim is agricultural land, and the other half is ferricrete fynbos, still managed by the Moravian Church and mission.
There are 129 hectares (319 acres) of vineyards in Elim. 80% of the plantings are Sauvignon Blanc; 15% are Semillon and the remainder small parcels of Viognier, Nouvelle. The cool ripening season (thanks to the close proximity to the ocean) in Elim is ideal for Sauvignon & Semillon.
It is believed that Elim, being part of the most southern tip of Africa, is situated on a coastal shelf that formed close to 900 million years ago, once part of Antarctica. Diverse soils range from sandstone, to cold laterite soils- Iron Ferro Crete and Quartzite and broken shale – ensuring minerality, tropical notes, depth and structure in the wine. It is also speculated that a huge underground lake resides beneath the coastal shelf – due to the occurrence of lots of fresh water springs - therefore irrigation is hardly necessary once the vineyards have been established.
There is a new emphasis upon biodiversity in the Cape Agulhas area. Elim is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom and the winegrowers are vital to the survival of the Fynbos plant. With the Biodiversity and Wine initiative, the impact of farming on the natural vegetation is being addressed and aims to encourage farmers to reduce carbon footprint and farm more sustainably.