The West Coast Village of Darling is home to artists, actors, retired financiers, farmers and other interesting people (we would count ourselves amongst those). Even if the region geographically (not to mention demographically) is slightly off the beaten track, Darling’s annual wild flower show – showcasing a selection of the 1200 flowering species to be found here – makes it the focal point of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Cloof’s oldest surviving vines were planted in 1966, with additional plantings in 1976 and 1987. In that time Darling, adjacent to the Swartland, was better known as a wheat farming region. A cellar was completed in time for the 1998 harvest, which allowed the first release of Cloof wines during the course of 1999. Vineyard area was significantly increased, with plantings every year from 1998 to 2000, bringing the total to 145 hectares of which the majority is Bush Vines. The 220 hectares of vineyards at neighbouring Burghers Post are under the same ownership, giving us unparalleled access to (and control over) top quality fruit.
In 2003 Darling was declared a wine region in it’s own right in recognition of the unique style and quality of wines grown here.
Our passion for bold, well-defined flavours is expressed also in various food events at Cloof. Celebrating the best of country produce and simplicity in preparation, we see our wines as being the ideal complement to our slow food philosophy. Afrikaans has a word, “gesellig” which best describes the happy mood that settles on a group when hospitality, good company, wine and food are brought together.
Anyone living near a town called Darling must be under suspicion of some degree of eccentricity. Whilst we haven’t (yet) started talking to our vines, we take the view that each wine is unique, and that each one’s personality should be communicated in its packaging.