Established 1998, Flagstone is situated in South Africa’s Somerset West in an old dynamite factory. It is the closest winery to the sea, and was commissioned in 1901 by Sir Cecil John Rhodes, designed by famous architect – Sir Herbert Baker.
Flagstone Revolutionised the wine industry by re-introducing ancient winemaking techniques, e.g. manual punch downs, natural cold soak and gravity flow.
While vines need to be pruned, ideas must be left to grow wild. The end result is more creative expression than mere harvest.
Flagstone has been sourcing grapes from our five core vineyards since 2003. Viticultural strategies are specifically tailored to individual varieties and vineyard parameters. The natural environment in which the vines grow and bear fruit play a huge role in the style and quality of the resultant wine and we go to great lengths to study and know everything we can about that environment. This includes careful soil analysis and an on-going study of climate parameters.
As a company, Flagstone is totally committed to our world-leading “Integrated Production of Wine” (IPW) scheme and our “Biodiversity in Wine Initiative” (BWI).
Every bottle of Flagstone wine is a journey with many twists and turns. It can never be hurried and there are no short cuts.
Step by step our fanatical dedication guides us to our journey’s end: the rewarding taste of delicious, distinctive wines. It’s a painstaking approach that has won us more than a few awards. And, more importantly, a legion of wine lovers who savour the unhurried quality of Flagstone.
But beyond the soft tannins and delicious flavours, there is an x-factor to Flagstone, it is how we treat the land and the people we work with. But most importantly, perhaps, is the energy that is ploughed into the creative process of winemaking.
The wines are inevitably exuberant expressions of fun and joy. Nothing has changed – it is still the mantra here.
Flagstone’s Head Winemaker, Gerhard Swart, believes that one should never stagnate, “You always have to be thinking about how you can stand out from the crowd. Be it more interesting labels, varieties or, like we do at Flagstone, combining particular terroirs to create wines that are intriguing and unique”.
Hailing from a family of Overberg farmers, Gerhard grew up in Strand obtaining his diploma in Winemaking and Agriculture from Elsenburg Agricultural College in 1999 and working with prominent mentors Bruce Jack and Chris Keet on his way to leading Flagstone’s wine production.
A philosophy that blends ambitious dedication and a fastidious attention to detail with an insatiable thirst for knowledge is key to Gerhard’s success as a winemaker.
Gerhard learnt about precision from his father, a bank manager, and juggling the needs of many different vineyards is all part of his job. This labour of love is part of what makes the Flagstone catalogue extraordinary, listening to the grapes and allowing character to guide creative inspiration and producing stellar wines that echo their journey through the seasons, from vine to glass.
As one of the youngest winemakers to be awarded the General Smuts Trophy in 2010 Semillon and again in 2019 for his Darling Sauvignon Blanc, also winning three Top 10 Pinotage Awards in consecutive years with Flagstone Writer’s Block places Gerhard among the pick of the winemaking crop. Bruce Jack sites him as the best winemaker he has ever met.