It’s Really All About The Vineyards
Circumstance Chenin Blanc is produced from low yielding, bush vines, situated approximately 4km as the crow flies from the ocean. These conditions ensure a cooler and longer growing season and allow for ripe fruit with good concentration and a higher natural acidity. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium-sized stones, helping with drainage. They also have a very good ability to retain moisture. Production was approximately 4 t/ha.
At Waterkloof we use organic and biodynamic methods based on Old World, sustainable practices in our vineyards to ensure that the vines are nourished, healthy and in balance. Our soils are free of chemicals and are kept healthy by using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from our own organic compost.
A Gentle Hand
The winemaking philosophy is the same for all of Waterkloof’s premium white wines. We follow a traditional, minimalistic approach which means that we interfere as little as possible with the winemaking process. This allows the flavours prevalent in that specific vineyard to be expressed. To achieve this, all grapes are hand-picked to ensure only flawless berries are brought in to the cellar by our horses. They are then sorted and whole bunch pressed so that we extract the juice in the gentlest way possible. The juice is then settled for 24 hours without the use of enzymes.
Naturally present wild yeast occurring on the grapes is allowed to ferment the juice. This leads to a longer fermentation with a slow release of aromas and a more structured palate. The wine fermented in 600L barrels for 5 months and was then left on the gross lees for a further 4 months before bottling. We do not add acid or enzymes during the winemaking process, with only a light filtration and a small addition of sulphur as a preservative prior to bottling.
And A Few Prayers To Mother Nature- 2013/14 Growing Season
The 2013 winter was exceptionally cold and wet. This accumulation of cold units is very favourable as it ensures an even budburst and an elegant ripening process. Leading up to winter our main focus in the vineyards was to further improve the health of our soil by building life in the soil in the form of bacteria ,fungi and earthworms. This was done by composting, cover cropping and the use of biodynamic preparations.
We experienced high rainfall in mid-November and also in the beginning of January.
Budburst was later this year as winter seemed to carry on for longer. With the initial bud showing we only sprayed a fungi (Trichoderma specie) onto the buds to protect them and inhibit any other fungal growth. The results were fantastic and as natural as can be.
From the rest of January and mid to end of February the growing season was cool and optimal. There were no excessive heat spikes and the grapes were able to produce sufficient aromatics with the slower ripening period. We started picking a week and a half later than usual. This year we were able to pick at a lower sugar level as the desired aromatics were achieved at that stage.
A Tasting Note From The Glass Of Nadia Barnard
The wine shows ample complexity on the nose with hints of green apple, stone fruit and a kiss of honey. The palate shows great length and fullness, with soft acidity. Enjoy it with a variety of dishes, ranging from a poached pear dessert to a simple cheese platter.
The Numbers (4100 Bottles Produced)
Alc: 13.35% RS: 4.2 g/l TA: 4.4g/l pH: 3.5