Ernie Els Wines, located in the heart of South Africa’s renowned Stellenbosch wine region, is a name synonymous with excellence and passion for both golf and winemaking.
Founded by the legendary South African golfer Ernie Els aka The Big Easy, this vineyard embodies his commitment to producing exceptional wines that reflect the same precision and dedication he exhibited on the golf course.
Click here to read about the legend that is Ernie Els.
Teaming up with skilled winemaker Louis Strydom, they have produced a portfolio of exceptional wines that capture the essence of the terroir and reflecting the same precision and attention to detail that has defined both Ernie’s golfing career and Louis’s winemaking artistry. Click here to get to know Louis Strydom better.
Thoughtfully selected for its prime position, Ernie Els Wines is framed by Panoramic Views of Cape Town and Table Mountain to the West and Stellenbosch and the Helderberg Mountains to the East.
The winery was officially opened in 2005, and since then, the focus has been on producing a range of wines, with a particular focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. Recent renovations have transformed the winery into an iconic symbol of the Helderberg region.
Epitomising the beloved character and celebrated prestige of their namesake, their four collections – Signature, Major Series, Big Easy and Proprietor’s – deliver iconic wines of characteristic style, exclusivity, and generosity.
Terroir and Vineyards
Their vines are planted on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountains, benefitting from high-potential soils and the ideal growing conditions for their favoured varieties. The slopes feature a granite mother material, high in clay content with mainly Tukulu and Oakleaf soil families. A large portion of the vineyard is devoted to Cabernet Sauvignon with dedicated blocks planted facing north and north-east to absorb as much sunlight as possible. This is the key to producing the fuller and fruitier wines of Ernie Els fame.
Plantings include 9 different Cabernet Sauvignon natural clones, carefully selected for specific qualities, with the most important being the Cabernet Sauvignon 412 clone from Gironde – the first of its kind to be planted for commercial sale in South Africa in 2014.
At 140m to 270m above sea level, the typically slow ripening period begins late Summer with the warm weather tempered by the summer-long cooling influence of the Atlantic Ocean, just 15kms away. These climatic factors result in wines with appealing phenolic ripeness. A timeless symbol of success.
Ernie Els’s winemaker, Louis Strydom’s fondness for Cabernet Sauvignon wines and blends made the location a natural choice: The Golden Triangle of Stellenbosch is globally recognised for producing exceptional red wines.
Their popular Big Easy range is led by a classic Red Blend: Shiraz-forward with notes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Viognier and Cinsault. Perfection is in the process.
After primary fermentation, some tanks undergo extended maceration, with each variety separately matured in oak before final blending; ultimately producing wines as generous and easy-going as Ernie Els himself. The range also features a Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé and Chenin Blanc.
With auspicious beginnings as their maiden vintage in 2000, this iconic Bordeaux-style blend is comprised of the classic cultivars: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. All grapes are exclusively grown on the property and benefit from the soil-rich, north-facing Helderberg slopes worthy of the prominent Stellenbosch appellation. Each variety is separately managed to contribute unique and varied flavour profiles to the consummate blend. Ample structure and depth allow this wine to age effortlessly for a decade or more.
Their 2017 Signature recently received a gold medal in the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards – obtaining 95 Points! – Read all about it here
The multiple award-winning Major Series includes a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, crafted from premium property-grown grapes. Granite soils with Tukulu and Oakleaf layers deliver a rich, middle-palate weight that instills exceptional depth and fruit purity into the wines.
The Proprietor’s range is the winemaker’s expression of the property and consists of the award-winning Red Blend and other inspired vintage-specific varieties. This superior and exclusive range is available in its entirety at the winery door.
The Wine Cellar with its vast concrete tanks and rows of full maturation barrels forms the vivid heart of a winery that balances enduring hospitality and state-of-the-art facilities.
A passage beyond their granite boulders, and through their wooden farmhouse-style doors will lead you into their homely, expansive Tasting Room and Restaurant where you will be rewarded with exceptional wines and hearty farm-style cuisine.
Make yourself at home in their warm and welcoming Tasting Room, the perfect setting to relax and enjoy an educated wine tasting presentation. This expansive area extends out onto a wide terrace, with majestic Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountain views.
Positioned in the homely Tasting Room, the Wine Library offers a selection of books to browse through whilst sipping on a glass of wine. Other experiences include a journey through the Trophy Room – an exhibition dedicated to the exceptional accomplishments of golfing legend, Ernie Els, as well as a modern Vinothéque – an impressive space housing an array of older vintages.
Savour modern farmhouse-style cuisine at its finest in a charming, open-plan space that extends out onto a terrace with picturesque views of Stellenbosch and the Helderberg Mountains.
Farm-style décor echoes the hearty cuisine made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients as well as herbs and produce from the Ernie Els Winery gardens. Celebrate live-fire cooking in the charcoal oven during the week and on the live fire Grillworks on weekends and within season – a unique dining experience.
Whether applauding exceptional accomplishment, upping the entertainment game or toasting great friendship, Ernie Els Wines always make it an occasion par excellence.
Cheers to Ernie Els Wines and Welcome to Australia!
Info and Images Credit:
Ernie Els Wines