As previously stated: The Cape has a largely Mediterranean climate, with some cooler regions resembling the windy maritime climate of Spanish Galicia.
Its stands to reason, that if we wish to make the best wines possible in the Cape, we should play to our strengths by planting grape varieties that suit our climate. Plenty of inspiration can be found throughout the Mediterranean basin and the Iberian Peninsula.
Therefore, based on this premis, Hans Evenhuis planted a vineyard on Hemelrand in the year 2010. We call it Vine Garden. The idea is to bottle the wine just as the vineyard produces it, effectively creating a white field blend that changes every year depending on the vintage conditions.
The vineyard was planted in roughly the following proportions: 40 % Chardonnay, 30% Roussanne, 13% Verdelho, 12% Chenin blanc, 3% Viognier, and 2% Muscat Blanc a petit grains. However, as mentioned the proportions of the different grapes produced varies significantly each vintage.
Hemelrand it is situated at 360 meters above sea level, on gravelly clay, and Sandstone. It is cold and windy – a very marginal site. Grapes ripen slowly here. We have high hopes for this place.
Composition: The 2017 wine is 26% Chenin, 26% Chardonnay, 23% Roussanne, 21% Verdelho, and 4% Muscat.
Notes: This is a slow ripening site, resulting in full flavour and high acidity. This wine exemplifies the push and pull between those two elements. The nose is exotic, the palate is bracing. I can also say with certainty that this is the best vintage for Hemelrand so far. 13.5% alc
Composition: The 2016 is predominantly Roussanne, followed by Chenin, Chardonnay, Verdelho, and a pinch of Muscat.
Tasting Notes: 2016 was a very good vintage in the Hemel & Aarde. We had great ripening conditions, moderate temperatures with cool nights. The nose of the wine is very exotic. Floral notes jump out before apricot and lime come to the fore. Hazelnut loiters in the background. Lazy bastard. The palate is a push and pull between sweet fruit and stern acidity. It feels young, wild and awkward now, but I believe this wine will resolve into something fantastic in bottle.
Concept: Hemelrand is planted to Roussanne, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Viognier and Muscat. We bottle this wine just as the vineyard produces it, essentially creating a field blend. Proportions will vary every vintage because of climatic conditions. The primary concept is “one place, one wine”.
Composition: The 2015 is predominantly Roussanne, followed by Chenin and Chardonnay. There is also a touch of Verdelho in this vintage. Unfortunately the Muscat was not yet bearing in 2015. From the 2016 vintage onward the Verdelho will play a bigger role, and we’ll have a pinch of Muscat too.
Notes: The nose is a bit of a show-off. Stone fruit and white flowers abound. There are also some hints of baking spice, roast nuts and ripe apple. The palate is powerful, with flavours reflecting the nose of the wine. High natural acidity cuts and carries the richness into a long flavourful finish. This wine will definitely stand up to a rich dish, perhaps something like chicken in tarragon cream.
Click here for a map of where our vineyards are.
Click on the packshot for a high res version.