For Ernie Els, focus, discipline and commitment have formed the foundation of his success, and these factors are as evident in his quest to produce premium wines as they have always been in his legendary golf career.
As one of South Africa’s leading ambassadors and one of the most recognizable faces in the world of sport, it is befitting that Ernie chose Stellenbosch to produce his wines. In 1999, the concept of Ernie Els Wines was born. With the help of award-winning winemaker, Louis Strydom, they produced the maiden 2000 vintage of Ernie Els Signature – a ‘classic’ Bordeaux blend. The synergy between the wine and Ernie’s ‘classic’ golf swing were apparent. the intention from the outset was to focus on delivering a quality product that could hold its own in the company of the world’s finest wines.
The 178-acre property is located on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain within Stellenbosch’s famous “Golden Triangle,” and the majority of vineyards are north-facing with rows running in an east-west direction resulting in the optimal utilization of sunlight. The soils contain scully formations with oak-leaf and clay components on top. Deeper within there is a considerable amount of granite. The Cape’s Mediterranean climate – with approximately 25 inches of annual rainfall combined with hot summers – and the close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean result in cooling sea breezes that regulate and keep temperatures moderate. This in turn extends the ripening period, leading to rich wines with warm fruit flavors. Six varieties are grown and nurtured on the property; Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
Today, Ernie and and Louis are dedicated to producing wines crafted to compete against the finest wines in the world. Ernie Els Wines produces an assortment of wine varietals at multiple price points, and Ernie Els Wines have received over 15 90+ ratings from Wine Spectator.
Ernie is also active in autism research. The Els for Autism foundation was established in 2009 by Ernie by Ernie and his wife, Liezl Els, to focus on the issue of autism. The Els’ son Ben is severely touched by the disorder which affects 1 in 88 children in the U.S. For the last several years, the world-class pro golfer and his wife have devoted their efforts to a philanthropic project – The Els Center for Excellence. Terlato Wines proudly supports Els for Autism with every bottle sold.