Terre Paisible: a harmonious blend of agriculture, sustainability and luxury

Wine connoisseur Cobus du Plessis finds a case study for sustainable agriculture at Terre Paisible, an estate producing fine wines, olive oil and lemons in the fertile Franschhoek Valley.

Terre Paisible: a harmonious blend of agriculture, sustainability and luxury
Terre Paisible prides itself on a synthesis of rich tradition and innovative farming practices.
Photo: Supplied
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In the lush landscapes of South Africa’s Franschhoek Valley lies Terre Paisible, an estate whose name aptly translates to ‘peaceful land’.

With breathtaking views of the Simonsberg mountains as its backdrop, Terre Paisible is not just a haven for luxury wines and olive oils, but a case study in modern sustainable agriculture.

The estate offers a rare synthesis of rich tradition, innovative farming practices, and the creation of world-class products that speak to the integrity of the land it calls home.

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The Terroir
The valley’s unique combination of climate and soil creates an ideal environment for vineyards and olive orchards. Terre Paisible considers its fertile soils a treasure, treating them with the care and respect they deserve.

The result? A complexity and character in its products that can only be achieved through time, patience, and careful stewardship.

The Maestro
When it comes to winemaking, the magic lies not just in the terroir but also in the hands that shape it. Adam Mason, the estate’s winemaker, is a virtuoso in the field.

With a BSc in winemaking/oenology and viticulture from the University of Stellenbosch and extensive international experience, Mason brings both global perspective and local insight to Terre Paisible.

A range of Sauvignon Blanc wines called Les Dames de 1987 Old Vines and Vigne d’Or Franschhoek Estate Sauvignon Blanc are a testament to his prowess.

Mason’s intricate understanding of the grape variety, nurtured by years in different wine regions, helped Terre Paisible’s wines achieve commendable ratings of 90 points and above in the recent South Africa Report by British wine critic Tim Atkin.

Legacy wines
The standout Les Dames de 1987 is made from 35-year-old vines and is certified under the Old Vine Project. The ageing process on the lees for nine months in a 4 000ℓ oak vat gives it an incredible texture and ripe notes of nectarine and apple.

Old vineyards bring an extra dimension to wine, especially to a popular variety like Sauvignon Blanc. The older vines must work harder during the growing season to ripen the grapes, resulting in a more concentrated fruit flavour, firm acids and a luxurious texture.

Beyond the vineyards
Wine may be at the forefront but Terre Paisible is far from being a one-trick pony. Its artisanal extra-virgin olive oils are crafted from five different Italian olive varieties including Favolosa, Frantoio, Leccino, Coratina and Delicata.

Sustainable practices
One of the distinguishing features of Terre Paisible is its commitment to sustainability. The estate has earned the global Good Agricultural Practices mark, emphasising eco-friendly methods and community involvement.

A part of the land is even dedicated to lemon orchards, expanding their agricultural diversity. Sustainability is not just a buzzword here; it is woven into the fabric of every decision, from the soil treatment to water conservation.

Awards and recognition
Terre Paisible’s Vigne d’Or Chardonnay 2021 recently scored 91 points from Atkin, adding yet another feather to its already decorated cap. Such high ratings and acknowledgments play a crucial role in gaining recognition in a competitive market.

It underscores the quality and craft that go into each bottle, making Terre Paisible not just a producer but an ambassador for the Franschhoek region.

Message from the estate managing director
Commenting on the recent awards the estate has received, managing director Shirley van Wyk says: “The accolades and ratings we’ve received are more than just recognition for
our wines, they represent a validation of our commitment to quality and sustainable

From left: Adam Mason and managing director at Terre Paisable, Shirley van Wyk.

practices. We see these as a testament to our team’s hard work and to the unique character of the Franschhoek Valley.

“Our vision has always been to create wines and farm lemons and olives that not only stand out in terms of quality but also tell a story about our land and heritage.”

Van Wyk added: “We are extremely proud of some of our recent achievements, such as Les Dames Old Vines, which was nominated as one of the top five old vine wines in the world at the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

“Our Aromatique Olive oil not only won a gold medal but went on to be voted one of the Top 10 olive oils in South Africa at the recent Absa Awards.”

A nod to the future
Terre Paisible is not just about what is, but what could be. It is paving the way for how luxury can be redefined to include responsibility, and how agriculture can evolve to be both sophisticated and sustainable.

The estate also plans to open a world-class medical aesthetic spa, diversifying the experience they offer to visitors.

In a world increasingly driven by immediate gratification, Terre Paisible stands as a testament to what can be achieved with patience, ability, and a deep respect for the land – from their award-winning wines to their sustainably farmed olive oils and lemons.