Agriculture in the Upper Blaauwklippen Valley can be traced
back to 1694. In 2003, the Wraith family moved to the Western
Cape from Gauteng and bought two adjacent farms. These two farms are now farmed
as one Estate known as Keermont Vineyards.
2005 saw the start of a major vineyard planting programme
on lands that had been fallow for a number of years. We
planted 21Ha over seven years to add to an existing 8Ha of
older vineyards. Our official maiden vintage was 2007 and
in 2010 a spring water bottling plant on Fleurfontein was
converted into a fully functional winery complete with offices,
tasting room, processing facilities and barrel rooms.
A tight unit of nine people run Keermont Vineyards. All
work, from tending the vines to packaging the bottles for
final release, is carried out by this small team to ensure
that the same attention to detail is followed throughout
the wines’ production.
Mark Wraith lives on the farm with his wife, Monica and
their four children. Mark plays an active role on the farm
ranging from strategic long-term planning, right down to
tending to the vines.
Alex Starey is in charge of the vineyards and of making
the estate’s wines. Employed at the start of the redevelopment
of the farm in 2005, he enjoys the responsibility of making
sure that the vineyards deliver the highest-quality fruit
to create the best possible wines. Alex studied Viticulture
and Oenology at Stellenbosch University and graduated in
2002. He has travelled and worked in wine regions including
Maipo Valley, Chile; Penedes and Priorat, Spain; St-Emillion
and Cote Rotie, France.
Linda Hartley is relatively new to the farm, her main area of expertise is bookkeeping and administration; but she has quickly become involved in the marketing and sales functions as well.
Juanita Schultz has joined us as Sales Administrator and is in charge of all our local and international sales and logistics.
Dominic Jonsson does a bit of everything from strategic
planning and staff management right through to routine maintenance.
He knows the farm better than anyone having moved to the
farm when the Wraiths bought in 2003.
Over the past couple of years Mark, Alex, and Dom have
devoted a great deal of time, not only to the development
of the new vineyards, but also designing the labels and
packaging of the Keermont Brand, designing and constructing
and developing the individual wines.
We have a small, but dedicated, team of staff members:
Shane de Vries is in charge of most of the hands-on work
in the winery from crushing of grapes right through to final
quality control of packaged wine. William Charles is the
main tractor driver, but also takes charge of other important
projects. Willem Hendricks is in charge of the vineyard
team. Willem and Julia Mondoyi takes care of the hands-on
viticulture. Ernest Talapile keeps the winery and its surrounds
spick and span.
When push comes to shove, we all club in
to get the big jobs done.