Dieu Donnè Vineyards

by Tia

Dieu Donnè Vineyards was acquired by the French-Mauritian, Robert Maingard in 1987 in search of his French roots in South Africa. This was three centuries after the first French Huguenots had settled in Franschhoek. They inherited a range of blended wines – all made and bottled in the Dieu Donnè self-contained winery. In 1988 an extensive replanting programme was embarked upon with Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and various Chardonnay clones replacing the old vines.

Hennie du Toit, Dieu Donnè’s farm manager was actually born on the farm which was sold when he was 13 years old. Little did he know that he would return as Farm Manager.

“Dieu Donnè” literally means “A Gift from God” or “God Given”. What a wonderful discovery! The spectacular mountain scenery viewed from Dieu Donnè Vineyards endorses this translation.


Featured in the Dieu Donnè logo is the unique Croix de Lorraine with its distinctive double bars, a proud symbol which, through the ages, has been associated with a spirit of non-conformity – a spirit true to Dieu Donnè’s approach to wine-making. The fascinating origins of this cross date back to 1241, when the Crusaders brought the cross with them from Constantinople (now Istanbul) and kept it hidden in the castle of Baugè in Anjou, a province in the Loire Valley of Western France.


‘The Gift of Perfect Conditions’

Dieu Donnè is situated high on the steep south-west facing slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains, which tempers the sun, ensuring slow ripening of our grapes. Thanks to our cool summer conditions and unique soil strata of Hutton and Clovelly soils from weathered granite with a rocky topsoil, the vines do not show excessive vigour, nor do they over-produce. These special soils do not get irrigated, further concentrating the flavours and characters of Dieu Donnè’s terroir in the grapes. These exceptional conditions give Dieu Donnè wines their special character.


Dieu Donnè has been making natural wines from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for quite some time now. More recently though, Dieu Donnè has started producing a Méthode Cap Classique (Bottle fermented sparkling wine). The unique situation, altitude and soil on Dieu Donnè allows the grapes to produce a high natural acid, more reminiscing of European vineyards, than South African. High natural fruit acids being the mainstay to making great bottle fermented sparkling wines proved to be a natural progression to this style of wine.

Gregory Siebrits, Dieu Donné’s Winemaker has an interesting story to tell. He started to work at Dieu Donné when he was 21 years old in June 1997. He was then appointed as driver and general cellar worker for the farm and worked his way up the ladder through the years. Gregory was born and raised in Franschhoek and even his grandparents are from this valley.


‘Enjoy our views and our wines’

The view from Dieu Donnè is well-known among those who wish to identify the famous landmarks of Franschhoek, watch the sun setting over the Simonsberg Mountains or just love enjoying a glass of wine and cheese platter at this scenic spot.

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