Third and fourth generation dairymen, Peter and Nick Pentz are hoping that like cream, their Groote Post wines will come out on top. And, if the first accolade for their maiden release is anything to go by, they are well on their way. WINE magazine, in reviewing the 1999 Sauvignon Blanc vintage in their November issue, called it a vintage from hell and only picked out four 4-star wines. Notable, the two top Sauvignon Blancs, Neil Ellis Groenekloof and Groote Post, came from adjoining vineyards on the cool sea- and south-facing Kapokberg in the Darling Hills on the Cape West Coast, an area fast growing in stature as a wine growing area.
The Groote Post Homestead was built in 1808 and, for a while, was Lord Charles Somersets only genuine "shooting box" and later was the home of well known author, Hildagonda Duckitt. The name is derived from its original status as the largest guarding post in the area, set up to protect cattle from marauding Hottentot stock thieves. Since buying Groote Post in 1972 they later added the adjoining farm, the historic Klawer Valley, and today the combined farms total 3 000 hectares.
In 1904 Peter Pentz's grandfather founded the Union Dairy in Cape Town. Dairy herds were established over time in Tokai, Philippi and Darling (Groote Post). Peter received the prestigious South African Agricultural Writers National Farmer of the Year Award for 1998 for his excellence in dairy farming. In 2001 the Pentz family decided to sell off their prize Holsten herd to concentrate solely on the production of world-class wine.