Thelema Mountain Vineyards: The Story

Giles Webb in his vineyardsThelema is situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg, with elevations ranging from 1,215 to 2,100 feet above sea level, making the estate one of the coolest and highest wine farms in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Owner Gyles Webb, a former accountant, abandoned his practice to study viticulture and oenology. In 1988 he produced Thelema's first vintage. Described as a rebel and a visionary, he crafted high quality, small production wines while most of his neighbors focused on quantity.

In 2000, Gyles “Mr. Precision” Webb moved into the role of cellar master and handed over the winemaking reins to the talented Rudi Schultz. Thelema has continued its steady ascent under Rudi’s keen hand, as evidenced by Wine Spectator's recent declaration that the estate’s wines are “among the few South African bottlings that can boast a solid track record of both quality and ageability.” The estate has continued to gain international acclaim as one of South Africa’s elite wine producers.

About Kinnegar

Kinnegar Wines was born almost by accident and been growing organically since.

In 1998, I was in the midde of a two year diploma course with the London Wine & Spirits Trust when an opportunity came up to visit South Africa's Western Cape. Naturally, I was keen to avail of the opportunity to learn more about viticulture and winemaking in South Africa.

We had an excellent guide who brought us to a number of the Cape's leading estates including Thelema and De Trafford where we had in depth vineyard and cellars tours. At the end of the day, I wanted to take back some of the wonderful wines we had tasted for our own use. It was not possible to take two or three cases of wine with us on our flight and shipping such a small quantity was more than the cost of wines. So I had the mad idea of shipping a pallet! Clearly, I had to start selling these wines and so began Kinnegar Wines. Ashford Castle took many of the wines and continue to list them and newer arrivals ever since.

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