About Our Vineyards
Hillcrest Estate is a boutique winery that vinifies between 40-50 tons of grapes per year. That means our vineyards produce approximately 33 000 bottles of wine, evenly split between white and red wines, making Hillcrest wines unique and highly sort after.
Our vineyards and terroir impact our wines, and so they are carefully looked after throughout the year. Geologically Hillcrest is quite unique, in that our vineyards are strewn with Malmesbury shale, a sedimentary rock formed by magma millions of years ago.
Our vineyards are 110 to 390 meters above sea level and are planted with the varietals that are best suited to the aspect and differing temperatures. Our Sauvignon Blanc is planted on the higher slopes as it enjoys cooler temperatures, whilst the reds are planted lower down, where they benefit from a slightly warmer position.
Hillcrest Estate is situated in close proximity to the Atlantic ocean, which cools our vineyards and allows for a slow ripening period. This, in turn, means our grapes reach full phenolic ripeness whilst maintaining a good acid structure. Resulting in well-balanced wines with pronounced fruit that can be aged for a good period of time.
Hillcrest produces three ranges of wine, The Hillcrest Estate range, Saartjie single vineyard, and Atlantic Slopes range. The entry-level Hillcrest Range comprises of Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, and a lightly oaked red blend. The Saartjie single-vineyard offers a 100% Semillon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The flagship or Atlantic Slopes Range includes The Quarry Merlot, The Hornfels Bordeaux blend, and Atlantic Slopes Sauvignon Blanc.
The Hornfels’ varietal percentages vary from year to year depending on the quality of the blending components. For that reason, The Hornfels is not produced every year, but only in years where the fruit shows exceptional quality. Both the Quarry and Hornfels wines spend 18 months in new and second fill 225L French oak barrels. After blending and a light filtration the wines are bottled and matured for a further 12 months before release.
Before fermentation red grapes are cold soaked to extract maximum colour and varietal flavour. White wines remain on the gross lees for up to 72 hours before cold fermentation is initiated. Different commercial yeasts are used to liberate a variety of fruit flavors to enhance complexity. Red varieties undergo regular juice pump-overs before the start of fermentation. After the malolactic fermentation is complete the wine is racked into new and second fill French Oak barrels for further maturation.
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Our Olive Orchard
About Our Olive Orchard
Hillcrest Estate’s olive orchards were established in 1993 and have yielded award-winning olives and olive oils in their short lifetime. The view from our orchards, situated between 300 and 400 meters above sea level, sweeps across Table Bay to Robben Island and Table Mountain.
Our orchards mainly consist of Mission, Frantoio, and Kalamata cultivars. In 2001 we processed our first table olives and outsourced the making of our first olive oil. Realizing the quality of the olive oil, we endeavored to make our own and purchased the necessary equipment. All production is done on the farm by hand; from harvesting to bottling. We have subsequently upgraded our machine to an Oliomo 150 and Hillcrest continues to make award-winning olive oils.
We became a member of SA Olive Industry Association in order to ensure that we adhered to their quality standards. The following requirements have been met; guaranteed 100% South African product, year of harvest is displayed on the bottle, adherence to the SA Code of Conduct and Practice for production and labeling, and assurance that high-quality standards are met with the label accurately reflecting its content.
Our olives and olive oil are available from the tasting room at Hillcrest, and at Ferndale Nursery in Constantia.
Classification of Olive Oils & Olive Oil Terminology
Extra Virgin and Virgin Olive Oil indicate oils that are completely natural and unrefined. All other oils can be assumed to be refined or to contain a proportion of refined olive oil. These blends are usually sold as Pure Olive Oil, Olive Oil, or Light Olive Oil.
Extra Virgin – natural, unrefined olive oil with a free acidity of below 0.8%, no defects, and a fruity characteristic.
Virgin – natural unrefined olive oil with a free acidity below 2%, with minimal defects.
Cold Pressed/Extracted – indicates that miling temperatures were kept below 28°C, preventing the destruction of the temperature-sensitive flavour compounds, antioxidants, and vitamins.
2002 Certificate of excellence Alfa Laval EVOO Competition
2005 Received a 3rd prize award at the Marco Zichella Extra Virgin Olive Oils of South Africa Competition
2006 Received the consumers choice award for our olive oil at the Marco Zichella Extra Virgin Olive Oils of South AfricaCompetition
2006 Received 2nd prize in the Marco Zichella Extra Virgin Olive Oils of South Africa Competition
2006 Won Gold at the SA OLIVE awards for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style
2006 Won Silver at the SA OLIVE awards for our table olives2007 Won Gold at the SA OLIVE awards for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style
2007 Won Silver at the SA OLIVE awards for flavoured olives2009 Won Silver at the SA OLIVE award for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style: Medium
2010 Won Silver at the SA OLIVE awards for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style: Medium
2011 Won Silver at the SA OLIVE awards for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style: Delicate
2012 Won Bronze at the SA OLIVE awards for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style: Medium and Silver: Delicate category
2013 Won 2 x Bronze at the SA OLIVE awards for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style: Delicate style
2014 Won Silver at the SA OLIVE awards for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style: Delicate and Bronze: Medium
2015 Won Silver at the SA OLIVE awards for our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil Style: Medium
The olive grove, planted on western slopes, comprises 2000 trees of oil and fruit varietals. Their unique position at 300 meters above sea level imparts a specific rich, tangy taste to the olives and a distinctive peppery aftertaste to the extra virgin olive oil.