Nico van der Merwe Wines
We are a family owned and operated boutique winery crafting quality wines
in Stellenbosch, the heart of the Cape Winelands, since 1999.
Nico’s philosophy is focused on creating high quality wines using traditional, hands-on methods that result in a reflection of the true character and terroir of the Cape.
How it all started
Nico’s journey began on South Africa’s West Coast, where he grew up and worked on the family farm from an early age. Wanting to eventually become a farmer too he attended Landbouskool Boland and thereafter decided to train in winemaking at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. He soon gained his first experience as assistant winemaker at cellars in Tulbagh and Stellenbosch.
In the mid-1980’s he decided to pack his belongings and head to Germany, to learn, explore, experience and widen his horizons beyond South Africa. There he studied at LVWO Weinsberg, the country’s oldest wine school. It was also during this time Nico would meet his future wife Petra, who practised as a medical doctor in a nearby town at the time.
Upon their return to South Africa, Nico went on to consistently produce award-winning wines in Stellenbosch. His accolades since include:
- Champion wine (General Smuts trophy) at the SA Young Wine Show.
- First South African winemaker to be awarded 6 double-gold medals at the Veritas awards.
- Best in class and the Winiarsky Trophy for Cabernet Sauvignon at the IWSC in London
From 1997 to 2003 Nico managed 2 harvests each year, one in Stellenbosch and the other in the South of France in the Languedoc. During the family’s time spent in France they not only discovered a new culture and way of living, but a dream of creating their own wines also started to manifest itself. This dream finally came to fruition with the maiden vintage of Mas Nicolas in 1999.
How we create our wines
Nico’s combination of local and international experience spanning close to 3 decades in the growing and selection of fine wines enables him to source the finest vineyards in the Western Cape. Most of these vineyards are low-yielding and non-irrigated, with grapes being hand-picked.
In the cellar, Nico believes in minimal intervention during each step of the process. All wines are vinified in a very personal and careful way using traditional and hands-on methods. Our red wines ferment in open tanks with pumping over and extended skin contact thereafter. Our white wines are handled as reductively as possible and fermented mostly in stainless steel tanks, with a small portion undergoing barrel fermentation.
We exclusively use French oak barrels for maturation and most wines undergo an extended period of bottle ageing before being released to the trade. Total production per year rarely exceeds 60 tons / 4.000 cases.
You can find our wines at selected agents below
House of Wines
Birr und Partner
Wine at Heart
Reach out to us
Get in touch with us if you have any queries and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Nico van der Merwe Wines,
Stellenbosch – 7600