Bilton's philosophy of continuous innovation and improvement builds on a rich past, reflecting the distinctive character of our land. Wines may be sampled in the spacious tasting room of Bilton's historic cellar.
In 1684 the wine estate, then named Bonterivier, was granted by Simon van der Stel to William Jansz van der Werelt.
Not much is known about the early days of the farm except that the first vines were planted in 1725 and the old wine cellar built in 1824. This is now fastidiously restored and historic wine tasting venue.
RICHLY BLESSED LAND
Bilton Estate is in the heart of the Stellenbosch wine region where the deep, rich soils of the Helderberg foothills provide prime red wine conditions. In summer the south-easterly breeze off the nearby ocean brings cool conditions, ideal for slow ripening and the development of rich varietals flavour.
The estate has been in hands of this family since 1959 when it was bought by Don Bilton. His son Mark took responsibility for in 1996.
In our determination to focus on grape varieties best suited to the terroir, specific soils, slopes and micro climate conditions were identified a major programme undertaking re-planting vineyards with the appropriate noble cultivars.
DAWN OF A NEW ERA
In 1998 our Merlot vines yielded such beautiful (excellent) quality that 100 cases were bottled under the first Bilton label. The demand for this maiden vintage was overwhelming and we are proud to have since added a Cabernet sauvignon and, recently, a Shiraz to the Bilton range.
Bilton's boutique wine cellar with a capacity of 100 tonnes was completed in time for 2006 vintage. Only the finest of our wines are bottled under the Bilton label. These undergo long maturation in top quality French, American and Hungarian oak barrels.
Winemaker Rudi de Wet and Giorgio Dalla Cia, who needs no introduction, was winemaker at Meerlust for over 25 years, he has become a legend in the wine industry, lauded for his innovative and darling approach to the demanding art of wine making. Having retired, Giorgio is now consultant to Bilton wines and even at this early stage, has inspired us to achieve levels we had never imagined (had only dreamed of).
WORLD CLASS WINES
Bilton produces a Cellar Selection and Private Collection ranges. These wines reflects the distinctive character of our land. Ever since the first vintage, our intensely flavoured, full-bodied wines have won ever-growing accolades locally and internationally. This takes us back to something of an historic omen. The first owner of the estate, back in 1684, was Willem Jansz van de Werelt, literally translated as "of the world" which is now, once again, applicable to this estate.
Visitors are most welcome in our relaxed, historic tasting cellar.
Our wines are exported to England, Germany, Belgium, America, Czech Republic, Poland, China, Sweden, Switzerland and are available locally from our Estate and leading stockists in South Africa.