This wine has the classic notes of lemon and grapefruit you'd expect from Chardonnay, with hints of almond and a fine mineral finish.
Grapes for the Chardonnay are sourced from 2 vineyards in the Western Cape. One is an old-vine vineyard in Paarl. This is not an area typically associated with fine Chardonnay but this 40-year old vineyard produces grapes with great flavour and intensity. I blend this with grapes from the Overberg region which adds minerality and acidity to the wine
I grew up in a small town on the southeastern coast called George, which is about 3 hours outside of Cape Town. Karatara is the name of a river that runs through this area. In the language of the Khoisan, the words translate to “deep, dark shadows.” I chose this name for my wines because I wanted to honour my roots.
I grew up in a tight-knit community. Both of my parents were school teachers and kept a strict eye over us. I played rugby as a kid and like all South African boys, I dreamed of becoming a Springbok rugby player. In high school we used to travel to Stellenbosch and Paarl to play rugby matches, and that was my first memory of seeing vineyards.
My older brother studied winemaking and he would take me inside cellars and let me taste from barrels. I was hooked. I also went on to study viticulture and for this decision I have my brother to thank (or curse depending on the time of year and how hard the harvest is treating me!)
I know that making wine isn’t just about sipping and swirling in the cellar—it begins many years earlier, in the actual vineyards. My late father was a keen gardener; working with the soil and patiently watching things grow was important to him and brought him great joy. I think about this a lot when I am outdoors in the vineyards and imagining the wines that I am about to make.
- Winemaker Rüdger van Wyk