WE ONLY WORK WITH GRAPE VARIETIES THAT ARE PERFECTLY SUITED TO THE SITES THEY ARE PLANTED IN. AS THE CLIMATE OF THE WESTERN CAPE IS MEDITERRANEAN, WE MOSTLY WORK WITH VARIETIES FROM THIS REGION.
Grapes

We only work with grape varieties that are perfectly suited to the sites they are planted in. As the climate of the Western Cape is Mediterranean, we mostly work with varieties from this region.

We carefully choose the most interesting sites in the most exciting regions of the Cape, and work closely with the owners of the vineyards to make sure we have the best possible material.

Syrah
Syrah is our focus. Revered for the esoteric wines it produces in the northern Rhone regions of Côte Rôtie, Hermitage and Cornas, it is a super versatile variety, and is starting to prove itself in the Cape. We love it for several reasons. It can be planted in many different terroirs, and will perform well, but differently in each site. Its complex tannins give velvety concentration and structure without having to be picked super ripe. On the nose it can be perfumed and sexy, or dark and brooding. It’s a grape with personality, and we work with a few different vineyards to make this personality as complex and interesting as possible. The Swartland is especially proving to be a prefect home for syrah, and we now focus on sourcing syrah from this exciting region. To gain experience in the classic approach to syrah, Chris worked for three months of 2003 in Côte Rôtie at Domain Clusel Roch.

Cinsault
Cinsault is a variety from Southern France. In most parts of the world cinsault is being ripped out of the ground to be replaced my more fashionable varieties like syrah and cabernet sauvignon. It still goes into famous red wines of Chateauneuf-du-pape and Bandol. We believe cinsault can be a very useful contributor if treated with love and respect. It produces wines that offer a great deal of fruit, bringing scents of rose petals, strawberries and almonds to the mix; and lifting varieties like syrah, mourvèdre and cabernet. Many of the seriously respected old Cape reds had large percentages of cinsault, and there are still many old cinsault vineyards scattered through the Cape. Used by us in small portions, we are not shy to say that cinsault is one of our secret weapons.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most renowned red variety. It performs best in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, but has the ability to travel and do well under varying circumstances throughout the world. In South Africa, it is better suited to moderately cooler sites where it has time to ripen properly. It has a massive personality, and at higher blend percentages we feel it tends to dominate, so we use cabernet in small percentages (up to 10%), to bring structure to our blends.