Located in Stellenbosch’s Lower Helderberg, Scions of Sinai was founded by Bernhard Bredell in 2016. Having grown up on a wine farm, Bredell has always felt the desire to give back to his roots. He focuses on using natural methods and minimalistic intervention in the cellar to ensure the wines maintain authenticity to the vines and their roots.
Scion, in biology, refers to the upper part of the vine or a young shoot. In old English, Scion also means descendant. Sinai refers to Sinai Hill, the foothill of the lower Helderberg, where the Bredells have farmed with old dryland bush vines for generations. From Sinai Hill, Bernhard sees both himself and his old bush vines as the Scions of Sinai – descendants of this unique terroir.
The wine is made from a single site and soil type on the lower slopes of the Helderberg in the Stellenbosch W.O. The old unirrigated bushvines are planted on decomposed withered granite soils, this ancient weathered soils really gives this wine beautiful purity, but also a sense of place or terroir. Handpicked in the cool of the early morning, the fruit is destemmed and soaked on its skins for 5 days, before spontaneous fermentation in old French barrels. Bernhard believes these 5 days of skin contact helps the terroir and salinity leach out of the grapes, something that would be lost if fermentation was allowed to start straight after destemming.
Real confidence on the nose with peach, baked apple, honey combe and a hint of earthy spice. The palate is weighty, concentrated, but with a beautiful tangy acidity just brings balance and a measure of focus to the palate. One can really taste what the winemaker is trying to achieve with this wine, with its beautiful saline and almost grippy finish. Another blockbuster Chenin Blanc from South Africa. Is there any limit to what these young winemakers can achieve... 'we are happy to report. we don't think so'!!!