The objective of this project is to encourage farmers to keep their old vines (most are over 40 years old), by offering them a premium for their fruit. The majority of the fruit from these vineyards are bought by co-operatives at a price per ton. This is because of the fact that as vines age they become less productive and less commercially viable for farmers to keep, unless the price per ton increases. Although the yield per hectare becomes lower with age, the quality of the fruit increases drastically and the wines offer more complexity and structure. The Cape of Good Hope project strives to vinify these old blocks separately and attempts to express the terroir of the vineyard through the wine.
Altima Sauvignon Blanc
Altima is situated in Elandskloof, an isolated valley north of Viliersdorp which is 5km wide and is surrounded by a steep mountain range that rises 1km from the valley floor. This steep topography causes the valley to receive less direct sunlight due to the overshadowing mountains, which - together with the elevation of 600 to 800m - equates to a very cool climate for the valley. This special terroir produces wines with high natural acidity and upfront aromas. Three different parcels were picked at intervals, each contributing a range of flavours from grassy, green peppers to passion fruit, melon and gooseberries. Grapes were hand-picked into small lug-boxes in the early morning and transported to the cellar in refrigerated trucks. All the fruit was de-stemmed and crushed before an overnight skin contact period allowed for the maximum extraction of flavour. Each parcel's free-run juice was settled and fermented separately in stainless steel tanks with selected cultured yeast strains. The wine spent 6 months on the lees before being bottled.
The Riebeeksrivier farm is situated on the slopes of the Kasteelberg, overlooking the Swartland. Its unique terroir, especially the shale soils, expresses itself strongly in the wine with unique varietal characteristics. e Marsanne (2012/11), Roussanne (2009) and Viognier (2009) vineyards are trellised in the typical échalas Rhône style (“stok by paaltjie”), while the Chenin blanc vineyard (1988) is bushvine. The fruit was harvested by hand at optimal ripeness and transported to the cellar in small lug-boxes in refrigerated trucks. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed and the juice settled overnight before fermentation took place separately in both stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels. The wine spent 9 months on the lees in French oak (9% new) and stainless steel (58%) before being bottled.
Grapes were hand-picked into small lug-boxes in the early morning and transported to the cellar in refrigerated trucks. The fruit was whole-bunch pressed before overnight settling in stainless steel tank. Fermentation occurred in 300L French oak barrels - 1/3 new, 1/3 used and the remaining 1/3 was unoaked. The wine spent 8 months on the lees without malolactic fermentation before being blended and bottled.
Western Slopes Riebeeksriver
This wine is made from grapes from the Riebeeks Rivier farm in the Swartland. The farm is situated on the slopes of the Riebeek kasteel mountains on the Malmesbury side with vineyards on Southern and Western slopes. This wine is from the Western slopes where there is more Schale in the soil. The combination of slope and soil, culminates into this feminine and layered wine with lots of vibrancy and red fruit style red blend. This wine is a blend which consists mainly of Shiraz, and other varietals from this slope including Grenache and Carignan. The wine is aged in used barriques for 12 – 14 months, then bottle aged for 3 years.