IT’S REALLY ALL ABOUT THE VINEYARDS
Waterkloof has been organic since 2007, we are now on 15 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 regenerative 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 16 years old. Production was approximately 2t/ha.
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 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 is 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: THE 2020/2021 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
TASTING NOTES FROM THE GLASS OF NADIA BARNARD
This wine shows lovely floral notes, hints of lime, honey and a distinct note of minerality. A rich wine with many layers and a long lingering finish. It is the perfect match for a few dishes – I recently enjoyed it with prawns cooked on the braai and drizzled with lime and butter.
Alc: 14 %
RS: 2.86 g/L
TA: 5.53 g/L