Mooiplaas Wine Estate: In Conversation with Winemaker Louis Roos
In Afrikaans, “Mooiplaas” means “beautiful place.” And Mooiplaas Wine Estate is committed to keeping their Stellenbosch land as beautiful as they found it. A third of the 600-acre farm is dedicated to Cape Floral Kingdom conservancy, including 113 species of birds and the indigenous, endangered Renosterveld Fynbos. Fynbos is a treeless, scrubby, and brown vegetation that bursts into a mesmerizing mosaic of flowers. It’s an important part of the region’s biodiversity.
Situated at the Southernmost point of Africa, 10 miles from the seaside and within the Bottelary Hills of Stellenbosch, the climate is incredibly favorable to winemaking. Cool, wet winters then dry, windy summers; a 15-degree difference between day and night temperatures; and cold winds that whip up from the Antarctic, protecting against disease. All these factors, along with mineral-dense Cape granite soil, lay the ideal foundation for quality wine.
South Africa has the largest planting of Chenin Blanc in the world. The old bush vines at Mooiplaas are nearly fifty years old and require attentive hand-harvesting. The wines these vines provide have a gorgeous round mouthfeel and purity of fruit. A dry finish keeps them versatile and food-friendly. And winemaker Louis Roos even suggests cellaring them for up to a decade to experience even greater complexity with each year.
Get to know winemaker Louis Roos!