Topiary Wines in Franschhoek was originally a fruit farm called La Tramontane until 2005, when previous owner built a cellar and a tasting room and launched Topiary.
In August 2014, acclaimed Burgundy producer Philippe Colin (also one of the guardians of the famous Colin-Deléger vineyards in Chassagne-Montrachet) became enchanted with the 64-hectare farm, and purchased the estate.
The landscape surrounding this boutique winery is dominated by the dramatic Klein Drakenstein mountains.
Topiary Wines occupies a gently sloping lower mountain slope at the Wemmershoek Mountain’s foothills, among the fynbos and fauna of Franschhoek Wetlands, bordered on the North and South by low sandstone ridges.
The estate greatly benefits from the surrounding mountain ranges (Hottentots Holland and Simonsberg) which form a wind-generating funnel that cools the vineyards, and results in even ripening and a pronounced elegance in the wines.
All the soils on the estate are sandy –products of Table Mountain sandstone and quartzite (Clovelley, Cartref, Glenrosa, Fernwood, Witfontein and La Motte).
A thorough soil analysis was conducted in 1998 before planting 20 hectares of vineyards, and the data was used to select the perfect varieties (Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay) and clones for each individual block.
The winery can process approximately 64 tons of grapes utilizing a sophisticated sorting line to ensure the best quality grapes are selected.
Once the grapes have been sorted, they are put into satellite tanks and transferred to fermentation tanks via a gravity pulley system, before undergoing further aging.
To both remain true to the farm’s original fruit farm status and create a biodiverse environment for flora and fauna to thrive, the remainder of the farm not under vine is planted to plum trees.
Namesake, beautiful and carefully crafted topiary sculptures line the driveway, both welcoming and impressing visitors alike.
After studying viticulture at the known viticultural high school of Beaune, Philippe took his place in the family business in 1988. He worked with his father and mother at Domaine Michel Colin-Deleger situated in Chassagne-Montrachet.
After a few years, his brother Bruno joined the family team. The family worked together for 16 years on an area of 18 hectares.
Philippe learned a lot from his father and gained all the experience needed to become a passionate winemaker.
During this time, Philippe played with the thought of beginning his own wine farm. When his father decided to retire in 2004, the two brothers decided to focus on their separate vineyards in order to respect their different approaches to winemaking.
This led to the launch of Domaine Philippe Colin in 2004 by an ambitious winemaker who wanted to apply what he learnt from his father and grandfather, Georges Deleger.
Philippe appointed a good team to assist him with the different aspects of a winery. The vineyard subsequently grew its reputation little by little.
Today, Domaine Philippe Colin’s vineyards are located mainly in Chassagne-Montrachet area but also Santenay, Puligny-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin.
He works 24 appellations as Bourgogne, Village, 1er Cru and Grand Cru and two cultivars, Chardonnay for the white wine and Pinot Noir for the red wine.
Recently, it's with great pleasure that Philippe welcomed his son, Simon, who is eager to learn more about the prestigious family business.