The Ladybird Story
At the beginning of this century we started to convert our vineyards gradually to organic farming. The question of agricultural sustainability may not be fully answered with organic farming practices, but it’s a great start.
We see ourselves as traditionalists. We make wine with minimal intervention to show what the special Simonsberg-Stellenbosch deep red soils (Clovelly and Glenrosa) can produce. On the whole farm we use very little irrigation and we rely on our deep clay soil to keep the roots cool and happy. Our average yield is around 35-40 hectoliters per hectare.
The history of our wine farm can be traced back until the year 1818. Originally named “Good Success” and owned by Dutchman Daniel Johannes van Ryneveld from Amsterdam, this vast farm extended to most of the catchment area in the valley enclosed by the Simonsberg, Kanonkop and Klapmuts.
The property was later divided into three farms: Warwick, De Goede Sukses and the remainder of the farm Good Success, which has become Laibach in 1994, when entrepreneur Friedrich Laibach realized his dream of owning a vineyard.
Laibach Vineyards was then sold to current owners, Johann & Paul Krige of neighbouring Kanonkop Wine Estate in April 2022.
The picturesque Ladybird Vineyards are flanked by the renowned vineyards of Kanonkop, Warwick, Marklew and Lievland.
Ultimately, our wine quality is forever linked to the land where our grapes are grown. Site selection is essential in the making of fine wines, because flavour starts in the vineyards.
The Simonsberg terroir with its lean deep red soils (Glovelly, Glenrosa) and cooling maritime winds from nearby False Bay is ideal for red wines of body and complexity.
Francois Van Zyl
Born in George, grew up and schooled in Robertson. Matriculated in 1993 and then took a “3 year” gap year after I realized I did not have money to go and become a doctor. Went to my first wine tasting in April 1996 in Robertson, presented then by Beyers Truter, then winemaker at Kanonkop. Fell in love with wine that evening and resigned from my fathers business to pursue a career in Wine. Started studying as a “young” 22 year old at Elsenburg in 1997. Was Dux student in 1998, Western Cape Agricultural student of the year, KWV viticulture student of the year as well as Vinfruco Pomology student of the year. Did my cellar diploma in winemaking in 1999 and started working for Laibach towards the end of 1999. Did 10 vintages in Europe to enrich my knowledge of winemaking, working in Rioja,Pomerol, Margaux, Slovenia and Serbia.
I grew up on our family fruit farm in Ceres, where I matriculated in 1987 – so farming has always been a big part of my life. Subsequently, I decided to study Agriculture at Elsenburg, where I graduated with my diploma in 1991.
In June 1994, the Laibach family from Germany appointed me as farm manager and I have been working here for my entire life. In 2000, we started farming organically and I travelled to California to gain experience in organic farming. I am looking forward to the new era of Ladybird Vineyards.
Sales & Marketing
Bert-Jan de Clerq