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There is something very special about this place in the mountains – solation, old vines, low rainfall, deep red sand over red clay. Huilkrans is made from old dry farmed Chenin parcels planted between 1974 and 1989 on a gentle southern slope at 450m above sea level. These big bushvines are wide planted (low density vineyards) with yields of just over 1 ton/Ha or around 0.6hl/Ha in 2019. The grapes were hand sorted and whole bunch pressed. The juice is very lightly settled (we like very cloudy raw juice) with no additions to the raw juice, wild fermentation in old barrels 300L barrels (twelve years old). Fermentation lasted for about one month. The wine was kept on lees for around twelve months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further six months prior to bottling. Huilkrans 2019 has an open nose of orange skin and custard apple, soft spice and rooibos. The palate is already showing some of its potential, beautiful and full, hemmed in by earthy/rusty minerality plus acid that kicks like a giraffe who touched the electric fence.
This wine calls for grilled lobster with a watercress butter or roast pork belly with a spiced apple sauce.
Varietal / Blend: Chenin Blanc
Farming Practices: Sustainable
Alheit Vineyards is a family business started in 2010 by husband and wife team Chris and Suzaan Alheit. They met at Stellenbosch University, fell in love, travelled the world together, got married, then travelled some more. Eventually they settled on Hemelrand farm close to Hermanus and started their project. "Our goals are simple. We want to make wines with a clear sense of Cape identity. We want to show that the Cape’s vinous heritage is worth celebrating and protecting. We love old vineyards. We love dry farming. We love bushvines. We think that “ordinary grapes” are in fact wonderful. We believe that great things are possible here in the Cape, and that we are now just scratching the surface of what can be done. We believe that quality and beauty in wine come from the vineyard alone. The true wonder of wine is revealed when all the nonsense and lies are stripped away. Therefore, we practice simple and careful winemaking: no yeasts, no enzymes, no acidification, no sulphur before ferment, no blocking malo, no new barrels, no fining etc. No manipulation. This is the core principle we adhere to. We cannot in good conscience talk about the importance of place if we’re manipulating the wine. We’re hoping to find the voice of the land, not the mark of the winemaker."