City on a Hill Wine Company
Swartland, South Africa
The second of their “canvas wines” and the second vintage of this wine, City on a Hill Wine Co. used three varieties stretched across five vineyards. This wine remains the winery’s main focus in terms of red wine and this blend continues to grow in vineyards and varieties as they stretch their reach further across Swartland. The Red Blend has great structure, showing red and black fruit with their trademark Swartland fynbos and olive notes. Syrah dominates this blend followed by Tinta Barocca, and Cinsault.
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: Syrah, Tinta Barocca, and Cinsault
RS: 1.9 g/L
TA: 5.2 g/L
Fermentation: Native Yeasts – 75% whole bunch
Vessels: Old 500 liter oak barrels
Year of Planting: 1968-1990’s
Soil Type: Decomposed granite, schist, & clay
Cultivation: Bush vines & trellised vineyards
ABOUT CITY ON A HILL WINE CO.:
City on a Hill Wine Company was started with one goal in mind: to make wine with freedom to explore and engage the vast terroirs and people that make up this beautiful region. The team was drawn to the rustic traits of the Swartland in the South Western part of South Africa – a location where you will rarely find landscaped vineyards or shiny farm gates, but rather an unforgiving landscape and people of the soil. The climate is hot and dry, and the conditions are becoming very extreme to farm in. Herein lies the beauty of the Swartland: a mix of old dry-land bush vines planted by previous generations, complimented by younger plantings of newer and experimental varieties, planted by this generation for the generations to come. City on a Hill Wine Co. has grown their offering to six wines. A lot of effort goes in to ensure constant improvement in all areas of grape growing and vinification. This is a lifelong task and something that the next generation will benefit from.
False Bay Vineyards
Last of the First
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Professor Perold’s creation, Pinotage, was propagated at Elsenburg College in 1935. In 1941 Myrtle Grove on the Schapenberg was chosen for the first commercial plantings. Today only one block remains on the Schapenberg — The Last of The First.
Completely different in style to inland Pinotage. The Last of The First is elegant, perfumed, graceful. It is luminescent dark cherry in color with earthy smells of lifted mulberry and damson plums. The taste is balanced with finely integrated tannins threading through from start to finish. It highlights morello cherry with a touch of earthiness. Drink now and over the next decade. Serve at 59ºF – pairs beautifully with duck.
Region: Schapenberg (W.O. Stellenbosch)
Analysis: 13% alcohol / volume
RS: 1.5 g/L
TA: 4.9 g/L
Total SO2: 85 mg/l
Production: 1549 bottles
REGISTERED SINGLE VINEYARD:
A small and singular parcel of mature 1994 planted Bush Vine Pinotage measuring 1.3 hectares. This block is the last Pinotage grown on the ocean facing slopes of the Schapenberg, where the original commercial plantings of Pinotage took place. This rare little block is on a cooler, elevated south-facing slope, just 2.5 miles from False Bay. Due to the effect of incessant wind and the application of organic farming practices, the berry-size and yield is also tiny at just over 3 tons/ha or 20 hl/ha. The up-side, however, is healthy grapes with excellent balanced concentration. Good things really do come in small packages.
Grapes are handpicked, sorted and fermented whole bunch with wild yeasts in a small open top oak fermenter, using regular, manual-punch downs during the fermentation process. The wine is left on the skins and stems for 31 days, then is pressed off in a basket press before being transferred to three old 600 liter barrels. Here, the wine goes through a maturation period of 16 months before bottling without fining with only the lightest of filtrations.
ABOUT THE WINERY:
Named after South Africa’s most iconic bay, which frames much of the country’s premium wine-lands, False Bay Vineyards, was born from a desire to make ‘real’ wine affordable. It is a sister company to Waterkloof Winery. In 1994, well before Waterkloof was founded, Paul Boutinot came to the Western Cape to seek grapes from balanced, yet under-appreciated vineyards. These vineyards would soon be lost to large co-operative blends that were dominating South Africa’s wine industry at that time. Paul transformed these Cape gems into wines with minimum intervention – something unusual for the time. He chose to organically farm using wild yeast ferments and no acid additions. Today, ingredients remain the same using beautiful coastal fruit, old vines, wild yeasts and additions avoided. Learn more here.
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