With no equivalent word available in English, terroir can best be described as the complete natural environment in which a wine is produced and which influences the wine’s characteristics, such as taste and flavour. The terroir of the cool-climate Koekenaap vineyards, which gives Stellar wines their unique character, is described below:
- Soil type - Hutton, Prieska, Etosha and alluvial soils lie close to the Olifants River.
- Climate - The climate in Koekenaap is classified as semi-desert. During the summer, there is virtually no rainfall. In Koekenaap, the average annual temperature is 18.2 °C. The average rainfall per year is 157 mm.
- Terrain - The terrain is flat with many terraces that were made to accommodate flood irrigation that was mainly used in years gone by.
- Aspect - There are almost no slopes or hills in the area.
- Environment - Koekenaap is classified as semi-desert. The areas surrounding the vineyards are used for sheep farming.
- Altitude - 7 to 18 meters above sea level.
- Proximity to large water mass - Our vineyards are between 9,2 km and 13,6 km from the coastline and lie close to the mouth of the Olifants River.
The viticulturist and the winemaker are not there to influence terroir, but to express the terroir to its full potential.
The proximity of the vineyards in relation to the Atlantic ocean is an enormously positive factor for the production of high-quality organic wine. The very dry climate minimises the potential for fungal disease. Access to a good source of irrigation ensures crop sustainability and the natural vegetation surrounding the organic vineyards protects them from contamination.