Established in 1989, Bouchard Finlayson is a boutique winery dedicated to the making of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wines of outstanding quality.
Located in the wine ward of Walker Bay, an hour and a half from Cape Town, the 125-hectare property currently has 22 hectares under vines; the rest is mountain land, covered by the spectacular indigenous ‘fynbos’ flora of the Western Cape. With only a small portion of the farm under vine Bouchard Finlayson is able to ensure the conservancy of the mountain land.
Bouchard Finlayson is renowned as one of South Africa’s top wineries and this can be attributed to their philosophy and focus to produce wines of the finest quality.
Bouchard Finlayson Wines
“Our viticulture is unique in South Africa. It is a high density planting system, ensuring 9000 vines per hectare, which is not to be seen elsewhere in the Cape. Vines are planted, one meter apart, in five rows. The sixth row is missing to facilitate the spraying of the vines and to avoid compaction of the soils. High density planting ensures a greater surface of leaf exposure per hectare and also restricts the root growth, which results in greater concentration of fruit extract.”
The climate of Walker Bay is largely influenced by the nearby, cold Atlantic Ocean rendering it one of the coolest wine growing areas in the Cape. The valley is surrounded and sheltered by a mountain barrier, formed by Galpin Peak (810 meters) and the Tower of Babel (1200 meters), which traps the cloud cover and moisture brought in from the sea by the prevailing wind. Summer conditions are consequently warm rather than hot, and winter conditions are mild and frost-free. The sea breezes work to keep vines cool thereby encouraging slow ripening and flavour-rich grapes.
“Each new wine is like a new child displaying uniqueness, offering promise, evoking a range of emotions, without any guarantees. I get to be involved in the initial development, giving my all but once bottled, and released into the world, I have to stand back and let go, quickly watching it develop and make its mark or accept criticism in the face of its exposure.” – Peter Finlayson, winemaker