In 1923 Johan Abraham Van Zyl, being one of 5 sons who lived on a farm that today forms part of the town of Citrusdal, settled in the undeveloped, rugged mountain ridge of the Piekenierskloof. In due course vines were planted on other farms in the area, creating the need for a winery. In 1957 Citrusdal winery, or Goue Valley Wines was established. In 1959 Johan Abraham’s son Carel van Zyl moved down the road to Bergendal where the first Chenin Blanc and Muscat vineyards he planted in 1962 can still be visited today. After several developments in the recent past, amongst them the name change to ‘Piekenierskloof Wine Company’, Carel’s two sons, Oubaas and Potgieter van Zyl as well as their sister Mientjie Mouton, now own the winery and have embarked on a mission to develop the immense potential of the area and its vines. The Bergendal Farm and the Heidedal Farm are situated on the Paleisheuwel Plateau in Piekenierskloof. It is on these two special parcels of land, that brothers Potgieter and Oubaas van Zyl follow in the footsteps of their grandfather, Johan Abraham van Zyl. The lofty climate allows for bountiful production of grapes, as well as citrus and stone fruit, stretching over 600ha of farmland. As a Fairtrade farm, Piekenierskloof takes the wellbeing of our farm workers and their families very seriously. A portion of our proceeds are allotted to community projects, which are selected by the Piekeniersfkloof Fairtrade committee. In this way, the workers decide what they need most, and can use their funds, together, to best meet those needs. One of the major projects borne out of a partnership between the farm itself, and the Fairtrade committee, is the Piekenierskloof crèche.
Jaco van Niekerk hails from a family of farmers and studied Viticulture and Winemaking at Stellenbosch University. He honed his winemaking skills at estate wineries like Boschendal, Seidelberg, Château Chasse-Spleen in Bordeaux, Simi in California as well as Lutzville Vineyards, before becoming General Manager and Winemaker at Piekenierskloof in 2017. As a regular visitor to winemaking regions across the world, he has kept abreast of the latest developments in oenology as well as wine styles of the world, and has forged lasting relationships with clients and consumers alike. With this background, paired with his energetic and positive attitude, he is set to build on the foundation laid by his predecessors in order to position Piekenierskloof Wine Company as one of the leading wineries in the South Africa wine landscape – prominent because of remarkable quality, but also because of a unique experience in South African culture. He is married to Cerina van Niekerk, winemaker of the Cecilia and Windband wines. She is also Marketing Manager of Piekenierskloof.