Among the long rolling south-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch winelands, caressed by cool coastal breezes, lies the boutique winery and vineyard, Journey’s End. With only a handful of premium, hand-crafted wines produced here, the focus is very much on quality.
No more than 25,000 dozen bottles of estate wine are produced in a typical vintage – many of which regularly collect trophies on the international circuit. In fact, thanks to its sea-facing slopes, excellent soils and the exceptional wines emerging from the general area, the Schapenberg terroir has begun to draw comparison with the likes of Bordeaux.
In 1995 the Gabb family (originally from Shropshire, UK) took control of this picturesque wine farm surrounded by 20 ha of gorgeous vineyards. They have invested heavily in both the vineyards and the winery since then – with the estate growing to 120 ha by July 2011.
The initial Journey’s End investment was made by Roger Gabb, who, at that time, was Founder and Managing Director of Western Wines. Following the sale of Western Wines to Constellation brands in 2006, the family turned their focus to their estate, Journey’s End. Upon taking the helm in 2007, Roger’s son Rollo has since invested further into the estate through vineyard purchases and infrastructure. In February 2010, Journey’s End completed work on a marvellous, state of the art 350-ton crush winery, set at the heart of the beautiful Journey’s End vineyards, finished with a stunning tasting room and spacious terrace overlooking the nearby coast. While completing the new winery, Journey’s End successfully acquired neighbouring Mount Rozier Estate, along with 45 ha of prime, south-facing vineyard. Along with all the other renovations, a very modern 350-ton cellar provides winemakers, Leon Esterhuizen and Mike Dawson, with all they need to produce the highest-quality wines. This expansion follows successful growth for Journey’s End in the UK as well as the European, African and Asian markets.
The family’s philosophy is one of minimum intervention. The aim of which is to create top-quality, single-vineyard and appellation wines that intricately integrate the tension between remaining true to the terroir, and finding their own unique expression of it.
The Gabbs are entirely committed to being environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. Those behind Journey’s End have a keen eye on the sustainable and ethical production of their premium wine. There is a tangible and deep respect for the environment, clearly apparent in farming practices that are integrated as closely to nature as is possible. As well as being WEITA, IPW and BWI champion status, Journey’s End converted to Solar power in 2014.
The farm is working to be fully Fairtrade by September 2016.