CIRCLE OF LIFE WHITE 2021
IT’S REALLY ALL ABOUT THE VINEYARDS
Circle of Life celebrates farming in harmony with nature, telling a
story of preserving and regenerating biodiversity, which we feel helps grow healthier and more characterful grapes.
In 2008 Waterkloof became one of The Western Cape Wineland’s first WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Conservation Champions. Half of the property is now dedicated to preserving the diverse, indigenous but threatened plant-life that make up one of Earth’s five major Floristic Regions. Of course, it is not only the flora that we help preserve and regenerate on Waterkloof, but also the inextricably connected fauna that play their part in any thriving eco-system, alongside our vines, the soil in which they stand and let’s not forget ourselves, the custodians who farm this land.
Since receiving WWF Conservation Champion status, five of our neighbours have followed suit, benefitting this winegrowing hillside still further. The Schapenberg is now the ideal canvas of vineyards upon which to craft this intricately woven tapestry of a blend we call Circle of Life.
A film to find out more about Biodiversity on Waterkloof –
A GENTLE HAND
We mainly rely on tasting, to determine the optimum flavour development of the grapes. Bunches are hand-picked early in the mornings, when they are still cool, which helps to preserve the flavours. Extracting juice from the grapes is achieved through whole-bunch pressing in our modern basket press. This is the most delicate way to extract the juice. No additions of enzymes or settling agents were made to the juice.
After a settling period of 24 hours, a large proportion of the juice was destined for co-fermentation. We determined a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc prior to fermentation which went into old 600-liter barrels- from where it fermented for six months. After the fermentation was completed the blend was racked to a stainless-steel tank to which we added the rest of the Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Semillon. To have the varietals integrate we decided to leave the blend in barrel on the fine lees until its bottling date six months later. This helped to add more complexity and weight to the palate. We produce the wine as naturally as possible, with no additions of acids or enzymes. The final blend is 57% Sauvignon Blanc, 39% Chenin Blanc and 4% Semillon
AND A FEW PRAYERS TO MOTHER NATURE: THE 2020/21 GROWING SEASON
South Africa’s Western Cape is privileged to have a vast array of soils and climates, all within a relatively small area. Here at Waterkloof it is no different in our amphitheater of vineyards.
This vintage dates back to the old normal, which is great. A cold, wet winter. Warm spring and summer, without excessively high temperatures. The famously ferocious winds of Waterkloof have played their usual hand, naturally controlling yield and fungal disease such as mildew. Perfect. In 2021, we were picking everything at well over a hundred days from flowering. We saw very high acid levels during this vintage because of these cooler growing conditions. As with all years we had to spend a lot of time in the vineyards tasting to determine optimal ripeness and find a good balance.
We were happy to see slow ripening in the vineyards which always goes hand in hand with good quality.
The last vintage similar was the great 1997.
A TASTING NOTE FROM THE GLASS OF NADIA LANGENEGGER
A very well-balanced wine. The nose shows notes of gooseberries, green apple, pear and a bit of honey. The palate is fine with beautiful acidity as well as length. Definitely a wine that will match numerous dishes but I can see myself enjoying this it with a simple scallop dish- with a touch or more of butter.
THE NUMBERS (29 066 BOTTLES PRODUCED)
Alc: 14 %
RS: 4.8 g/l
TA: 6.3 g/l