Rust en Vrede


Established in 1694, Rust en Vrede is proud to be part of a remarkable three hundred year old wine tradition. Since 1977 the Engelbrecht family has specialized in the exclusive production of red wine, with the focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Proprietor Jean Engelbrecht has worked to maintain Rust en Vrede as one of South Africa’s premium red wine estates, with full-bodied and complex wines that reflect the uniqueness of its Stellenbosch terroir.

In 2022 Danielle le Roux took over the role of winemaker at Rust en Vrede. She moved to the Rust en Vrede cellar from within the Stellenbosch Collection, having made the Donkiesbaai and Guardian Peak wines since 2018. Danielle is a qualified Cape Wine Master and uses her extensive knowledge and experience to craft wines that express their varietal character and terroir. The winemaking position at Rust en Vrede offers her the opportunity to continue the legacy of terroir-driven wines that our Estate is known for.

Winemaking process

Hand harvested bunches of grapes are brought to the winery early in the morning while temperatures are still cool.

Most of our grapes go through a destemming machine, which removes the stalks of the grapes, leaving whole berries intact.

A portion of our Syrah grapes are left as whole bunches, which are transferred from small containers directly into the open top fermentation tanks.

Destemmed individual grape berries move across a sorting table, where any unripe, damaged or mouldy grapes are removed by hand, as well as any matter other than grapes (leaves, insects etc).

Grapes fall into the crusher where the grape skins are split and the grape must, including the all-important skins for colour, flavour and tannin, is then pumped through a cooling system into stainless steel open top fermentation tanks.

Rust en Vrede does some spontaneous fermentation and some inoculated fermentation.

Sugar levels start to fall as the level of alcohol rises and the carbon dioxide given off pushes the grape skins and pulp to the surface, forming a cap, which protects the must against oxidation. We implement pump overs and manual punch downs 4 to 5 times per day to encourage gentle extraction of phenolics, and to prevent the cap from drying out.

Primary fermentation takes 7 days, after which the must has fermented to dryness, and the yeasts die off. We then implement 21 days of extended maceration, where we allow the cap to gently submerge into the must, to extract even more phenolics from the skins.

After maceration, the must is pressed off the skins, transferred into closed stainless-steel tanks and malolactic conversion takes place.

Our wine is then transferred into French oak barrels, 300L barrels for the Cabernet Sauvignon and 500L barrels for the Syrah. We use a combination of first fill and seasoned oak barrels for our wines, the percentage of first fill oak varying depending on the wine being made. The wine is aged in barrel for approximately 18 months.

Evaporation means that the barrels will have to be topped up, and the wine will occasionally be racked off its sediment into a new barrel to aerate it and prevent the build-up of harmful compounds.

Next the blending of varietal wines and blends takes place. Our winemaking team meticulously blends different clones, parcels, barrels, and varieties to make the most consistent and highest quality wine possible.

Once the final blend is done, fining with bentonite takes place, after which the wine is filtered. No animal products are used during this process, which makes all our wine vegan friendly.

Bottling takes place under very stringent conditions, to ensure consistency throughout. All Rust en Vrede wines are closed using natural cork closures.

Rust en Vrede wines use Amorim NDTech corks – which each undergo individual gas chromatography to eliminate the presence of TCA.

After careful bottling, the wine is laid down in our underground cellar for bottle aging. Our wines are aged in bottle for between 9 and 18 months, depending on the wine.

Bottles are washed ahead of being capsuled and labelled, after which the wine is ready for the market.

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