The Resilient Legacy of the Marais Family

in South African Winemaking History

In the sun-drenched annals of the Robertson Valley, the saga of the Marais family unfolds like a vibrant tapestry, woven with the threads of history and the timeless spirit of resilience. Tracing their lineage back to the valiant French Huguenots who braved the unknown in the late 1600s, the Marais descendants have etched their legacy into the very fabric of the South African winemaking tradition for well over a century.

Amidst the whispers of skepticism that once shrouded the region, casting doubt on the viability of grape cultivation, the Marais ancestors tended to their land, dedicating themselves to the humbler pursuits of sheep rearing and ostrich farming. Yet, the winds of fate unfurled a new chapter when Pieter Marais, enraptured by the allure of the Cloverfield Estate, acquired this parcel of earth from his neighbor Duncan Barry in 1917. Amongst the ancient oaks, standing sentinel to a bygone era, an erstwhile shepherd’s hut silently bore witness to the emergence of a new destiny.

With the serendipitous revelation of cold fermentation techniques, the verdant vineyards of Cloverfield Estate blossomed into a haven of oenological wonders, yielding wines that were nothing short of extraordinary. As the decades unfolded, the Marais family etched their names in the annals of pioneering winemaking, birthing their inaugural vintage in the fateful year of 1945, marking the genesis of a legacy that would transcend time and culture, firmly establishing them as the vanguards of the flourishing Robertson winemaking landscape.

A union of destiny

The Marais Legacy and the Sacred Emblem of the Four-Leaf Clover

In the remarkable year of 1978, amidst the sun-kissed vineyards of Robertson, Pietie Marais, scion of the Marais legacy and custodian of a prestigious wine estate, united his fate with that of his beloved, the enchanting Liz, whose lineage traced back to the emerald isles of Ireland. Beyond the blessings of their union, it was whispered that she brought with her an ethereal promise, a whisper of fortunes yet to unfold— a promise steeped in the heady brew of auspicious destiny and boundless affection.

From this union blossomed three valiant sons, destined to carry forward the torch of their forefathers. And yet, it was the union itself that marked the inception of a new saga, one that saw the sacred embodiment of their union etched into the very fabric of their family legacy. Like an ancient artifact imbued with ancestral mystique, the family crest bore the venerable emblem of the four-leaf clover, an icon steeped in the annals of antiquity, weaving tales of unyielding fortune and everlasting ardor.

Each verdant leaf of this hallowed emblem stood as a sentinel of the human spirit, invoking the timeless virtues that transcend the ebb and flow of time. One leaf, an unwavering beacon of HOPE, illuminating the path through the darkest of nights. The second, a steadfast bastion of FAITH, invoking the strength to weather life’s tempests. The third, a testament to the eternal power of LOVE, intertwining hearts across the ages. And finally, the fourth leaf, an embodiment of boundless LUCK, casting its serendipitous spell upon the ventures of the Marais lineage, echoing through the generations as a testament to their storied history.

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The Marais Legacy Continues

The illustrious lineage of Liz Caine Marais and Pieter Marais of Cloverfield is further embellished by the remarkable achievements of their three dexterous sons. Cobus, an enigmatic figure within the vineyard’s embrace, has passionately mastered the delicate art of winemaking. His adoration for the culinary arts and the seamless fusion of food and wine pairing have garnered him accolades, notably for his exceptional Chenin Blanc, which has earned prestigious awards, solidifying his status as a venerated wine virtuoso. Meanwhile, Henry, serving as the captivating face of the vineyard, assumes the mantle of the head of marketing, skillfully weaving narratives that intertwine the heart of Cloverfield with the palates of wine enthusiasts worldwide. Though Pieter’s current abode lies in distant lands, his enduring spirit permeates every vine and every bottle, an invisible guardian overseeing the timeless legacy of Cloverfield with unwavering pride and affection.

Bountiful Terroir and Timeless Craft

Nestled within a sprawling expanse of 110 hectares, the Marais family vineyard thrives as a vibrant tapestry of viticulture. Awash in the enchanting hues of nature’s bounty, the land boasts an exquisite array of grape varieties, from the regal Chardonnay and bold Shiraz to the delicate notes of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Colombar, Pinot Gris, and the tantalizing richness of Cinsaut and Merlot. With the fertile embrace of two distinct soil types, one adorned with the richness of lime and the other blessed with the alluvial abundance along the flowing banks of the Breede River, this vineyard is truly a living testament to the artistry of winemaking. Embraced by the majestic Langeberg Mountain in the north, and the rhythmic flow of the Breede River in the south, this winemaking sanctuary stands as a testament to the exquisite harmony of nature and human endeavour.

Expert wine-making and vine maintenance have ensured that Cloverfield wines have built up a reputation for being of the very highest quality. Every step of the processes is overseen and all the unique wines that you will find here are a reflection of our taste and decades of experience.