It’s Really All About The Vineyards
At Waterkloof 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 20 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 settled naturally for 24 hours. Naturally present wild yeast is employed to ferment the juice, mainly in old 600litre barrels (90%). This leads to a longer fermentation process 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 6 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- 2016/17 Growing Season
What looked like an average harvest, due to the winter drought, turned out well, much to our surprise. This also attested yet again that Mother Nature will always keep us on our toes.
The 2016 Cape winter did not see a lot of rainfall – about half the average – and it was also not exceptionally cold. We barely saw any snow on the mountains.
Spring started early which lead to an early bud burst and flowering. Thankfully we did not experience strong winds during this period, which helped with an even berry set. Seeing that we already experienced drought conditions during the berry formation stage, cell formation was also impacted, which meant small cells from the start.
In January, we received a little rain which changed the game and assisted the vine to grow without being too stressed. During the rest of the season we had beautiful cool evenings and mild day temperatures and this ensured a proper, even ripening process.
We started picking at the end of January and were very happy to see little to no rot; small berries with a lot of concentration, and great acids!
A Tasting Note From The Glass Of Nadia Barnard
Sauvignon blanc is a varietal that shows terroir very well. In this wine, the Schapenberg comes through with hints of lime combined with notes of gooseberries. The palate shows great balance and has a long and elegant finish. Enjoy it with a variety of dishes, especially seafood such as salmon ceviche or a crab salad – just keep it simple!
RS: 3.3 g/l
TA: 6.7 g/l