The wine is made in a new world style: rich, complex, aromatic with fruit and structure. The careful winemaking techniques combined with the age-old traditions of Dry Land viticulture resulted in a Chenin Blanc that is true to its varietal and this illustrious region. Citrus, pear, peach and pineapple notes are evident in the aromatics of this wine. The palate boasts hints of citrus, litchi and vanilla, while the finish is crisp with a well-defined acidity. In the tradition of classic fine South African wines, this wine is ready to drink now and will continue to gain further complexity with aging for up to 5 years.
Pair with Brie, cheddar and aged Gouda. The wine will elevate salads, seafood, chicken or fish in a creamy, sweet & sour or chili sauces and Asian dishes.
Our Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc is made in very limited quantities. This wine is a product of both hard work and good fortune, the former likely leading to the latter. During our extensive travels through the winelands looking for hidden vineyard gems, we happened to meet the wine buyer for a major South African chain. He was a very approachable person and as we were comparing notes on various farms and vineyards, he told us about a cellar that's owned jointly by a group of farmers where he buys some of his wines. One of those farms, has a dryland bush vine Chenin Blanc vineyard that has been used in legendary wines. The volume of wine made from this vineyard would be too small for his large chain but it would be of amazing quality and he suggested that we contact them and perhaps we can convince them to allow us access to that fruit.
South Africa is the oldest wine producing country in the new world and the story of our vineyard reaches back to 1699 when a Mr. Dippenauw was granted an enormous farm by his employer, the Dutch East India Company who operated the Cape Colony. It is uncertain whether this was a reward for his good work or whether he was cast into the wilderness because he married dangerously to a sister of Adam Tas, diarist of the early colonial Cape and political rebel subsequently imprisoned by the Governor. What is known is that the newlywed couple was so overwhelmed by the farm’s isolation from Cape Town at that time that they named it Solitude. The farm has been in the hands of the same family since 1775. We traced the contact person, spoke on the phone and eventually met the key people face-to-face. We learnt more about the vineyard and spoke of the wine that we could all be proud of. We are proud to share this wine - certified for Sustainability & Integrity as well as Fair and Ethical Trade - with the world. A hidden gem, whose wine is no longer hidden.
The grapes for this select wine originate from a single heritage 36 year old block on the same farm in the Agter-Paarl appellation, one of the premier regions for Chenin Blanc. This farm was granted in 1699 and has been in the same family since 1775. The decomposed granite and Glenrosa soils are deep and strong in structure. The vines are allowed to grow as small bush vines with no irrigation or artificial canopy, only relying on winter rainfall. Without irrigation, dry land crops weigh less, with smaller bunches and smaller berries that need to be picked by hand giving a low yield of 7 tons per hectare. There is a rich reward for enduring these tough conditions as most of the flavour is just under the skin, so with less juice and more skin, there is a higher flavour concentration. Intensive vineyard management, including using cover crops for water retention and natural pest control (with no chemical pesticides), protects the vine and ensures the ecosystem is in balance. The vineyard and the cellar are certified for Sustainability & Integrity as well as Fair and Ethical Trade.