Cousins Jeff and Simon Grier started the family-owned Villiera Wines outside Stellenbosch in 1983 and embarked on an extensive replanting of classic and local varietals. Cathy Brewer (née Grier) later joined the family team to head up the sales, marketing and export divisions. The introduction of hi-tech cellar facilities for the production of still wines as well as Méthode Cap Classique combined with a unique wine business philosophy has seen Villiera developing into one of the largest private wineries in the country. Award-winning winemaker Jeff Grier crafts a range of wines characterized by a strong reflection of Villiera's unique terroir and the retention of the distinct aromas and flavours of the different varietals.
Approximately 35% of the wine production at Villiera is currently focused on bottle-fermented sparkling wines. A joint venture with Frenchman and champagne specialist Jean Louis Denois in the mid 1980s has culminated in some of the finest Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wines in the country. The current highly acclaimed range includes a non-vintage Tradition Brut and Tradition Rosé Brut, a Villiera Monro Brut and the additive free Villiera Brut Natural. Villiera has seen exponential growth in the sparkling wine category during the past five years. Although more than sixty percent of their annual production is aimed at the domestic consumer market, Villiera has also experienced success in targeted export markets.
Villiera's white wines are renowned for their distinct fruitiness and ultimate drinkability, while simultaneously offering a great value proposition. Although there is a strong focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, Villiera also produces a white blend appropriately named Down to Earth, which consists of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Smaller quantities of Riesling and Gewürztraminer are also produced.
The Villiera reds capture the unique combination of Old World and New World styles and have gained international approval for their well-balanced intensity and understated elegance. The predominant varieties are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, while a blend of the two has resulted in the multiple award-winning Monro label. Proudly carrying the family name of generations of Griers, the Monro blend has been Villiera's most successful label with numerous awards in the prestigious “Bordeaux” blend category. The 2001 Monro received the Calyon Trophy as the best South African Bordeaux blend in 2005, while the 2002 vintage was awarded a gold medal at both the Calyon and Veritas awards. The red wine range is completed by the Down to Earth, a Shiraz-based blend and smaller quantities of Shiraz, Pinotage and Fired Earth fortified wine.