One of the most talked about new wineries in South Africa is Chris and Suzaan Alheit’s Alheit Vineyards, a new venture based in Hemel en Aarde, but sourcing grapes from all over the place. Chris and Suzaan work just with white grapes, mainly Chenin Blanc but also a bit of Semillon, and their debut wine, Cartology 2011, made a big impact on its release, getting some hefty critic scores.
From his Hemelrand cellar in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley above Hermanus, Chris Alheit continues to produce a stand-out – and growing – range of wines from parcels of cherished and nurtured old vineyards.
Therefore, based on this premis, Hans Evenhuis planted a vineyard on Hemelrand in the year 2010. We call it Vine Garden. The idea is to bottle the wine just as the vineyard produces it, effectively creating a white field blend that changes every year depending on the vintage conditions.
The vineyard was planted in roughly the following proportions: 40 % Chardonnay, 30% Roussanne, 13% Verdelho, 12% Chenin blanc, 3% Viognier, and 2% Muscat Blanc a petit grains. However, as mentioned the proportions of the different grapes produced varies significantly each vintage.
Hemelrand it is situated at 360 meters above sea level, on gravelly clay, and Sandstone. It is cold and windy – a very marginal site. Grapes ripen slowly here. We have high hopes for this place.
This stunning Rousanne, Chardonnay, Chenin blend is made in very small quantities and a true hidden gem to own. The grapes are grown on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge property, Hemelrand. Yellow apple, peach and apricot as well as ginger and spice. Great depth of flavour and pleasantly oily in texture. This is rich and ripe but has a properly savoury finish, a fantastic winter white.
Origin: Western Cape/South Africa
Grapes: Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay/Roussanne/Verdelho/Muscat