|Monday to Friday:
|Proprietor: Axe Hill Winery (Pty) Ltd
General Manager: Mike Neebe
Winemaker: Mike Neebe
Viticulturist: Mike Neebe, Johannes Mellet
Marketing: Mike Neebe
|Area under vines: 1.3 ha
Production: 6 to 9 tons
Brands: Axe Hill
Wines: Cape Port. Dry reds made from traditional Portuguese cultivars.
Wine Tourism: Visitors welcome by appointment.
More about us
Axe Hill was started by the late Tony Mossop and wife Lyn, at a remote site on the outskirts of Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo during 1993. Calitzdorp is a viticulture area situated in the Klein Karoo Wine Region. The area has been acclaimed for its fortified wines for a number of years and Calitzdorp is known as “the Port Capital of South Africa”. The unique micro-climate prevalent in the region is typically characterized by dry, arid conditions which add to the overall concentration of true
Portuguese varietals. The name of the vineyard originates from the stone hand tools found on the farm and used by pre-historic man over a quarter of a million years ago.
Only one vintage is made each year from a blend of the traditional Portuguese varietals Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca and Souzão. The wine is matured in old 500 litre French oak barrels after hand sorting and foot crushing in lagares for maximum extraction of both flavours and colour. This method closely resembles traditional Portuguese port wine making techniques which have been in use for centuries.
A dry, white Port, is also produced. Chenin Blanc grapes are used in this drier style, fortified wine. The wine is barrel-aged by the fractional blending of old to young wine so that each bottling is a fusion of ages, with the average age gradually increasing over the years. Axe Hill Cape White has its origins with the first vintage in 2003 and will continue to grow in complexity with future releases.
Apart from a Cape Ruby Port, a Shiraz, the cellar has recently released its third vintage of Machado (meaning Axe in Portuguese) (2012) a unique Dry Red blend made from Portuguese varietals Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca and Souzão and a dash of Shiraz. Exciting news just in, is that this wine also claimed a Gold and Best in Class for the Portuguese Style Wine at the 2013 Cape Port Producers Association annual Challenge.
Meet the winemaker
Mike Neebe is the winemaker at Axe Hill. He started making wine at Axe Hill in 2008, facing a daunting challenge to maintain Axe Hill standards. Mike spent a harvest at RAMOS PINTO in Portugal in 2010 honing his port and winemaking skills. He lives in Johannesburg commuting to Calitzdorp frequently – in his other life Mike runs a pub, The Bohemian – “catering for the real life bohemians among us…”
His favourite wine from the cellar
Mike’s current favourite wine at Axe Hill is undoubtedly the blend known as Machado – which has been described as the “vinous equivalent of sheepskin slippers…” one of a kind, a bold, food-friendly wine made in a classical style.
Facts about Mike you probably did not know
He loves great food, classical music in the cellar, blended with the tranquility of the Klein Karoo which is his antidote for the “warp” speed of Johannesburg.