Eben Sadie is the most influential winemaker of his generation in South Africa. Having worked in wineries right around the world in the 1990s (Burgundy, Oregon, Italy, Austria, and Germany) he returned to South Africa and started his own label, Sadie Family Wines, in 1999. Its first wine, the Syrah-based Columella 2000, was awarded 5 stars in the Platter Guide. Palladius, its idiosyncratic flagship white, received 5 stars in its third (2004) vintage. Following a period of supporting winemaking projects outside of South Africa he now focuses only on the wines in makes from vineyards in the Swaartland, Olifants River and Stellenbosch.
His hard work, attention to detail, diligence on organic farming methods and incredible knowledge of the Western Cape's vinous historical treasures have inspired those that work with him, around him and sell his wines globally. His influence today is prophetic, his wines are profound and extremely sought after. His flagship wines are Columella and Palladius, blends made from all the parcels and varieties he works with, while his Old Vine Series are a brilliant collection of single vineyard wines with evocative names such as Pofadder (Puffadder), Skerpioen (Scorpion), Soldaat (Soldier), T'Voetpad (Footpath), Treinspoor (Traintrack), Skurfberg (rugged mountains) and Kokerboom (Aloe tree).
Notes : Palladius 2017 displays the magnitude of layers that is to be expected from a blend of 11 varietals across 17 vineyards, but unlike the previous two vintages there are more fresh fruit flavours and the stone fruit and peach skin aromas almost suggest a cooler vintage… this is in part the result of us picking slightly earlier than usual to try and save plant reserves for the vines to deal with the drought. This wine normally has more tropical aromas, but this year there is none of that to be found. Some white cassis and green apple skin make up a very restrained version with salty, mineral and slight honey and lime undertones. This Palladius spends its first year of ageing in clay amphorae and concrete eggs and then an additional year of ageing of the final blend in big oak casks.
Vineyards: Paardeberg Granite (13 vineyards), Sandstone (4 vineyards).
Grapes: Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Viognier, Verdelho, Roussanne, Marsanne, Semillon Gris, Semillon Blanc and Palomino, Colombard
Soils: (Various) Granite, Gravel & Sandstone formations.
Vinification: Hand sorting of individual berries of the entire production in small “strawberry” cases. The grapes are pressed in a traditional basket press and the juice run off directly to clay amphorae & concrete eggs.
Ageing: The Palladius matures for 12 months in these vessels and is then racked into big old foudres for an additional 12 months ageing prior to bottling. Fermentation is spontaneous and no additives are used. The wine finishes fermenting in its own time - in some cases this may take up to 20 months. After two years the wine is bottled unrefined and unfiltered.