Lomond, with its unique Southerly position is ideally situated to be cooled by sea breezes in the summer months, ensuring the best environment for its boutique selection of grape varietals. The cultivars grown were carefully selected to complement the variety of soils on the farm, and this, combined with the farm’s location, allow for the production of superb single-vineyard wines from individual vineyard blocks.
Part of the the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy, Lomond focuses on sustainability and the preservation of biodiversity on the farm, Where possible, organic and natural farming methods are used, in order to produce unique wines that are a true reflection of their environment.
Lomond, in the Gansbaai area, is situated in the valley of the Uilenkraal River and located at a most southerly latitude -34° 34΄ south. It is one of only a handful of wine farms within the Cape Agulhas appellation of origin. The farm, which derives its name from Mount Lomond at its back, falls within the cool Winkler Zone 2, with relatively little variation in day-night temperatures throughout the year. Located about 8 km from the sea as the crow flies, it is kept cool by the south-westerly and south-easterly winds during the summer months. The prevailing cool weather means the grapes ripen several weeks later than in the Stellenbosch area, with harvesting only taking place towards March.
Altitudes vary, with some blocks around 50 m above sea level, while others are located around 100 m above sea level, with uninterrupted exposure to the ocean. However, even the lowest-lying vineyards still benefit from the cool maritime breezes. Viticulturist Wayne Gabb, who was also the force behind the creation of Lomond, said the naturally occurring indigenous vegetation and the terrain’s low hills acted as a filter for the salt-laden sea air.
Of the farm’s 800 ha, about 120 ha are planted to vine. All the vineyards are located on previously cultivated land. The rest of the farm with its rich diversity of indigenous flora and fauna, is carefully managed and preserved.
Lomond’s geological formation is unique. The soils are mostly of sandstone and shale origins with the intrusion of granite in sections creating lean, gravelly soils. This marked diversity of soil types – 18 different soil types were identified by soil scientist David Saayman - combined with the farm’s location, allow for the production of superb single-vineyard wines from individual vineyard blocks.
The cultivar selection, which was done by renowned viticulturist Prof Eben Archer, consists of Sauvignon blanc, Merlot, Shiraz, Semillon, Nouvelle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Viognier. Four Sauvignon blancs are produced from the grapes, two of them single-vineyard wines and two blends in which the Sauvignon blanc dominates. The white wines are balanced by four reds, two of them highly rated wines made from Shiraz, a cultivar which does extremely well on the farm. Most of the wines are given the names of indigenous flora on the farm.
There has been from the outset a very strong focus on sustainable farming and on preserving the abundant biodiversity of Lomond. Everything is done to reduce the impact of the vineyards on the surrounding land and particularly on the large storage dam on the farm as it also supplies water to surrounding communities. Organic interventions are used almost exclusively in the vineyards, and farming is done in a way that gives maximum expression to the diversity of soil types and elevations while protecting the indigenous habitat.
Says Gabb: "We create an environment that promotes the self-induced resistance of the vines to the risk of disease. This approach is enhanced by a predator release programme that allows insects to feed off otherwise destructive pests."
Some 200 ha on the farm has been set aside for conservation. It was one of the earliest members of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), acknowledged for protecting the environment and conserving the indigenous habitat. It also belongs to the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.