Mulderbosch – 24 years of great wines

Mulderbosch Farm at dusk

My first connection with Mulderbosch came about shortly after we had opened Parks Restaurant in Constantia in the early 1990s.  A dapper young doctor, Larry Jacobs and his winemaker Mike Dobrovic wearing a soft felt hat and a pocketful of little cut out Rumi quotes walked in and presented me with a bottle of wine with what looked like a cigar label stuck down the side.  This was different to start off with!  Larry had acquired Mulderbosch, which was referred to by the local community as “vuilplasie” meaning “dirty little farm”.  It was here that one of the Cape’s winning wine partnerships turned Mulderbosch around. Mike and Larry cleaned up the property and planted the first vineyards.  A cellar was built and Mike set about creating the first wines – a Sauvignon Blanc, a Blanc Fumé and a Chardonnay.  A sublime, wooded Chenin Blanc, Steen op Hout followed and a red called Faithful Hound, a wine with a lovely story about its name.

Where it should be, in an ice bucket

Mulderbosch very soon started capturing the attention and respect of wine drinkers with its zippy fresh Sauvignon Blanc, and adding considerably to South Africa’s reputation as a source of world-class wines.  The estate regularly earns red entries in Platters, top ratings elsewhere and Wine Spectator “Smart Buy” and “Outstanding Value” accolades.  And the wines went down a treat with my dinner guests.

Red Lipped Herald Snake
rode in with the grapes

Larry sold Mulderbosch in 1996 scarcely a decade after buying it and creating the legend.  It was up to the new owners Hydro Holdings and Mike to ensure that none of the magic would disappear from Mulderbosch wines. A new, state-of-the-art bottling line was among the improvements that with extensions to the existing facilities were made to the cellar.  Later Ben Truter and his family trust taking control of the company, Ben being a former partial shareholder and owner of Kanu, a sister winery.  Mike Dobrovic moved on, opting for a quieter life.

Nice smile from the Winemaker, Adam Mason

Terroir Capital, the California-based investment group headed by American Charles Banks, former partner in cult California Cabernet producer Screaming Eagle, has owned Mulderbosch Vineyards since 2011.  Adam Mason who was winemaker at Klein Constantia for the past eight years, prior to which he spent six years abroad now heads up th Cellar team.  Chrianto Oosthuizen, who has extensive experience in finance, marketing, personnel and production management and almost two decades of experience at Neil Ellis Wines, is the General Manager.  Terroir has made a significant investment to revamp Mulderbosch’s winery, improve viticultural practices in the vineyards of its key partners, enhance the business’s environmental sustainability, address social issues and provide staff training.  Andy Erickson, the former winemaker at Screaming Eagle and other blue chip California estates, acts as consultant both to Mulderbosch and its sister winery, Fable, in Tulbagh.  Adam had previously met Banks and worked with Erickson, having spent the 2008 Californian harvest at Screaming Eagle (then co-owned by Charles Banks and where Andy Erickson still consults).  Adam says: ‘During my time there I was very impressed by their ethos and approach to making wine and the positive chemistry that developed between us as a team.’

Visitor to the Cellar

Mulderbosch, situated in the Stellenbosch Hills area outside Stellenbosch, is committed to conserve its unique natural heritage, landscape and natural biodiversity by implementing environmentally responsible management practices on the land and in the cellar.  As a member of BWI (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative), harmony is central to the philosophy of Mulderbosch where nature is as much appreciated as the wine.  They endeavour to give back to Mother Nature everything they receive from her.

Chenin Blanc coming in for the Steen op Hout

Mulderbosch Wines are legends and the range numbers 7 wines.  Amongst them is a fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, The Faithful Hound, and a selection of Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blanc.  To read more about Mulderbosch wines, click here.

Fun in the Tasting Room

A visit to the Mulderbosch, particularly around lunchtime, is huge fun with an enormous pizza oven doing sterling work with some really interesting toppings.  Ideal accompaniment for tasting a selection of their sublime wines in the Tasting Room, run so charmingly by Werner Els.

Wine region Stellenbosch

Mulderbosch Vineyards, Polkadraai Road, Vlottenberg, Stellenbosch, 7600

Opening Hours

Tuesday – Sunday: 10h00 – 18h00

Public Holidays: 10h00 – 18h00

Closed on Mondays, Christmas, Easter and 1st January

Bookings essential for groups of 8 people or more.

For Bookings and Enquiries

Tel 021 881-8140 ext 210 email

Or contact the Tasting Room manager Werner Els on

021 881-8140 ext 211 email

GPS coordinates: Lat -33.948889; Long 18.765833

May 3rd, 2013|Categories: Winery partners|Tags: |