On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!
Experience 4.0 Stellenbosch Wine 4.0

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Thursday 6 July 2017

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 4/5

Yonder Hill was one of those wine farms with a familiar name and whose wines I had tasted from time to time at different festivals – at Stellenbosch and at Tyger Valley – but where I have never been to. South of Stellenbosch by some 15 kilometres, it made perfect sense to visit as I explored north from Somerset West.

There is no Yonder Hill apparently but views of the Helderberg Mountains as I entered the farm, via elegant cream-coloured gates and along a gravel drive, were spectacular. On my left, and peering into the bright winter sun, I could see the small herd of Ugandan Ankoli cattle, kept for show by the Naudé family owners. It seemed fitting that their elongated, upwards curving horns made the shape of a ‘Y’.

I parked besides the small cellar building that contained the Tasting Room. The room was intimate, relaxing and pleasantly decorated with prints of the Ankoli cattle. Olives, olive products and craft beer (made by the owner’s son, Daniel, and available in September) were also for sale. A small office adjoined. I could have stayed all day just to look at the expansive views of the Helderberg beyond the vineyards.

Yonder Hill extends to 14 hectares. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the two main cultivars grown on 5 hectares of the farm, together with some Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The grapes are planted in rich Oakleaf and Clovelly soils on the Northern slopes. Cool maritime breezes prolong ripening by up to 3 weeks compared with nearby Stellenbosch. The red wines are made in the underground cellar beneath the Tasting Room and are matured in French oak barrels.

Sherna was my tasting host. She was polite, well-spoken and knowledgeable. Her name means ‘Goddess’ that suited the location. I began by tasting two Sauvignons Blanc from 2016 and 2017 vintages. I rated them the same but there were subtle differences between them. Similar in pale greenish straw colour, and with moderate crisp, dry acidity, they made for pleasant drinking. Both wines had flavours of lemon and lime. The 2016 vintage was more herbaceous in character than the younger 2017 wine that showed hints of fruity guava and litchi.

My next 2 wines for tasting were the value and the premium Merlot. The Y-Merlot, made in stainless steel tanks and with some oak maturation (33% in older barrels), was youthful. It showed moderate complexity and flavours of dark cherry, blackcurrant and red plum. I preferred the Yonder Hill Merlot. It was deeper in body than its younger cousin and with juicier dark berry and currant flavours. The tannins (from 16 months in French oak) were solid, if not fully rounded, and will improve with keeping.

My final red was the Inanda (meaning ‘place of beauty’ in Zulu), a Bordeaux-style blend containing Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. This was a decent wine with moderate balance and complexity. Each cultivar brought its own flavour profile to make for an interesting and drinkable wine.

Sherna kindly offered me a sample taste of the Danilo Rosé, so named after the owner’s wife. Made from Merlot, this wine was not yet for sale until September but was my favourite of the tasting. Lively on the nose and easy on the palate, with moderate acidity, I enjoyed the fresh strawberry, red cherry and ripe raspberry flavours. I am sure it will be a successful wine to include in the Yonder Hill range. I would have bought a bottle if I could but shall look out for it in future.

Yonder Hill is an attractive farm with breathtaking views and decent wines. This boutique vineyard may not have quite the same caché as the bigger and better known Stellenbosch and Helderberg vineyards that are on either side, but it nonetheless is well-worth visiting. Make a point of stopping briefly instead of driving past.

Wines tasted (bought *):


2016 Y-Sauvignon Blanc – R55
2017 Y-Sauvignon Blanc – R55


2017 Yonder Hill Danilo Rosé (100% Merlot) – Tank Sample FAVOURITE WINE


2015 Y-Merlot – R55
2013 Yonder Hill Merlot – R190
2014 Yonder Hill Inanda (39% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot) – R120

You Might Also Like

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Boutique de Brendel

It’s High Time Again

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Water into Wine at Uitkyk


Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Taint, Mould, Sweet-Sour, Elastoplast, Stale Honey, Bee Wax and Potato Skin With the Wine Prof

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Wines to Love on Love Street

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Late at Lateganskop

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Mutual Attraction

More-ish Wines at Môreson

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Satisfaction in Getting My Ducks (and Wines) in a Row

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Classic(al) to Barrique – De Morgenzon Hits all the Right Notes

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Dornier Disappoints

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Beyond Expectation

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Au Revoir France!

Wines Merely to Lust After

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Class in Glass at Glenelly


Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Great Value in the Swartland

More than Just a Destination

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage


Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Of Female Rugby Players and Ballet Dancers! Let’s Continuously Study Very Seriously: Wines of the Loire and Northern Rhône

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Around the (Old) World in 18 Hours – starting with the European Cuvée!

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Red Chair in the Morning

Relaxing Rosendal

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Iconic Steenberg

Altitudes with Wine!

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

More Still at Tanagra

No Black Marks at Raka

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Speed Tasting with Sommelier ‘Royalty’ at my First SASA Meeting

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier


  1. Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] journey North from Yonder Hill on the R44 towards Stellenbosch passed 2 estates where I had tasted at before: Avontuur and Ken […]

  2. Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] I headed instead for the iconic estates of Vergelegen and Lourensford, then North to scenic Yonder Hill and busy Eikendal. I reckoned I had time for one last tasting. The Platter’s Wine Guide advised […]

  3. Thank you Cape Wine Lovers Society.? Sherna

  4. iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] knew few of the producers represented. Some I had visited (Yonder Hills) and some I had tasted (Stellenbosch Hills, Deux Frères and Peter Bayly Wines). There were some I […]

  5. Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] was looking even better than it had at the end of a day of tasting at Vergelegen, Lourensford, Yonder Hill and Eikendal vineyards. The expansive, contemporary building, complete with modern art inside and […]

  6. Putting Capelands on the Cape Winelands Map! – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] and you’ll likely think of the big name vineyards North towards Stellenbosch: boutique Yonder Hill, Chenin Blanc-specialist Ken Forrester, horsey Avontuur, and contemporary Cavalli. Think East to […]

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *