Jordan Estate is very much a family affair, and has been ever since 1982, when Ted and Sheelagh Jordan bought the 146-hectare property, tucked away at the end of the Stellenboschkloof Road. They began an extensive replanting programme, carefully matching the right grape varieties with the vineyard plots with the natural assets in which they could thrive. The estate now grows a wide range of classic varieties.
Since 1992, running of the estate has transferred to Ted and Sheelagh's son, Gary, and his wife Kathy. Gary was a geologist by training, Kathy an economist, but the pair spent two years gaining experience at wineries overseas before they took over Jordan Estate.
Enjoying panoramic views of Table Mountain, False Bay and Stellenbosch, the vineyard slopes face north, east, south and west, and vary in altitude from 160m to 410m, resulting in a diverse range of grape character and, in turn, a greater complexity in the finished wine. The mild Mediterranean climate, with cooling influences from both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, minimises the risk of frost, and helps the grapes to ripen at a steady pace. Soils vary from well-draining clay-loam to gravel and sand over a layer of clay, and it may not come as a great surprise to hear that the Jordan family attributes the success of its wines largely to Mother Nature The vines range in age from 10 years old to over 30, and this maturity is also important, as it results in smaller, more concentrated berries.
Once the grapes are harvested, they are transported to the nearby winery: a state-of-the-art complex as practical as it is elegant. The cellar is designed around a gravity flow system, which allows minimal handling of the grapes as they become wine, with the aim of achieving an integrity of flavour that is a natural expression of terroir and grape character.
Fermentation takes place in the coolest part of the underground cellar, and separate cellars are used for the maturation of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz in Bordeaux-shaped barrels. For the whites, the team uses temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks, and classic Burgundian ageing methods.
There is a welcoming tasting room at the property which is located a little outside Stellenbosch, as well as one of the Cape's very best restaurants, which commands beautiful views. In London, the Jordans are also joint owners of High Timber, a restaurant on the northern embankment between the Southwark and Millennium bridges.
Grower profile: updated 22/10/2013