It’s Really All About The Vineyards
Waterkloof has been organic since 2007 and biodynamic since 2009, but 2015 will be remembered as a landmark harvest, as we celebrated our first vintage with certification from Ceres (organic) and Demeter (biodynamic).
We use organic and biodynamic methods based on Old World, sustainable practices in our vineyards to ensure that the vines are nourished and in balance. Our soils are free of chemicals and are kept healthy by using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from our own, natural compost.
These traditional methods, combined with a southwest-facing, windy vineyard site ensure a balanced vine with a naturally low production and intense flavours. The vineyards are about 5 kilometers from the sea and are planted at a height of between 270 and 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium-sized stones, helping with drainage and also with moisture retention. The vineyards are an average age of 19 years.
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 in the wine. To achieve this, all grapes are whole-bunch pressed so that we extract the juice in the gentlest way. The juice is then allowed to settled natural for 24 hours. Naturally present wild yeast is allowed to ferment the juice, mainly in old 600litre barrels (90%). This leads to a longer fermentation with a slow release of aromas and a more structured palate. The natural fermentation process took 7-8 months to complete, after which the wine was left on the gross less for another 4 months. We do not add any acid or enzymes during the winemaking process, with only a light filtration and a small addition of sulphur added as a preservative prior to bottling.
And A Few Prayers To Mother Nature- 2015/16 Growing Season
The Cape did not experience a very cold winter in 2015, with near perfect days lingering at 20°C. The evenings were cold but not excessively so. We also experienced the driest winter to date with half the normal rainfall.
Budburst took place at the beginning of September which was definitely earlier than usual. It was a proper spring with lots of sun and warm temperatures.
We started picking a week earlier than last year (which was already early). A lot of the producers were significantly down on crop yield (some even up to 50%). Fortunately, our biodynamic vines have a deep root system (approximately six metres deep), compared to conventional vineyards (digging only one meter deep) and we were not down on yield by too much.
With the berries being very small this year the flavours were fantastic. Some raisins still developed on the later varietals, which we got rid of in the cellar. The skins on the reds were thicker than normal but brimming with concentration.
A Tasting Note From The Glass Of Nadia Barnard
A Sauvignon Blanc that combines the best of both worlds – present acidity and good fruits, with a great structure. The nose is fresh, with hints of green apple, grapefruit and gooseberry. The palate starts fresh with gooseberry acids, developing into a melody of white fruits, with a long and elegant finish. Enjoy it with a variety of vegetables, or steamed white fish.
The Numbers (18,730 bottles produced)
Alc: 13.07 %