Waterkloof has been organic since 2007 and biodynamic since 2009, and we are now on 10 years of working towards chemical free soils. The soil is looser, full of life and just smells like seriously good dirt.
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. We search for natural alternatives to fight everyday problems in the vineyard and we keep them 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 approximately four kilometers from the sea and are planted at a height of 270 to 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium-sized stones, helping with drainage and moisture retention. The vineyards are 13 years old. Production was approximately 2t/ha.
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 bottle. To achieve this, all grapes are carefully hand-picked and then brought into the cellar by our horses. They are then sorted and whole- bunch pressed in our modern basket press so that we extract the juice in the gentlest way possible. The juice is then settled for 24 hours without the use of enzymes.
Only naturally present wild yeast on the grapes are used to ferment the juice. This leads to a longer fermentation process with a slow release of aromas and a more structured palate. The wine was fermented in older 600L barrels and left on the gross lees for 10 months prior to 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. The wine was lightly filtered and bottled by hand and only three barrels were produced.
And a Few Prayers to Mother Nature – 2016/2017 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!
Tasting Notes from the Glass of Nadia Barnard
This wine shows intense notes of stone fruits, a nice minerality and a subtle hint of spice on the nose. A rich, textured wine with a long lingering finish. It is the perfect match for a Thai inspired seafood dish.
Alc: 14 %
RS: 6 g/L
TA: 5.5 g/L