Meet Andri Hanekom
Passion, sincerity and dedication is where one would start when describing the defining traits of Bloemendal’s dynamic and talented winemaker, Andri Hanekom. With an extensive background in agricultural training, with viticulture at the forefront, Andri’s passion and understanding of wine truly starts at the root. During years of working as a viticulturalist for some of the Cape’s top wineries, Andri’s winemaking skills were nurtured and developed through mentorship by top winemakers Franscois Haasbroek and Thierry Haberer. Andri took over the reins at Bloemendal in 2017 as winemaker and wine estate general manager, where he has been pouring his passion and knowledge into each and every bottle of wine produced since, and scooping up a plethora of awards the process.
Bloemendal boast a diverse range of vineyards, each with its own soil and slop aspects. Ranging from the south facing slopes of Kanonkop to the north facing angles of Tierberg mountain, the immense diversity allows for the ultimate matching of cultivar to terroir, a very important advantage to an estate of 239 hectares, 128 of which are under vine.
Most of the deep red soils of the estate are heavy Hutton type. The rest are made up of Tukulu, Oakleave and Westleigh, which are deep, cool and well drained, yet with good water retention. This allows the vineyard to be cultivated with no irrigation, allowing nature to take its course and for the farm to conserve water in the process.
Bloemendal Estate is situated within one of the coolest wine growing areas in the Cape, with the benefit of receiving little rain in the summer months. This cool character is not so much to do with the height above sea level, but rather the cooling south easter winds which blows off False Bay during summer, mostly in the late afternoon. These cold winds come sweeping over the contours of Tierberg and Kanonkop mountains, drenching the vineyards in cool, moist air – even on the hottest day. On the days the southeaster doesn’t blow, a westerly wind blows off the cold Atlantic, creating the same effect. Rainfall in the region is relatively low at around 400mm per year, but the deep, favourably structured soils absorb and efficiently retain water, ensuring an adequate water supply to the wines during the dry summer months.