“If people were prepared to pay more for wines, then the economics of wine will allow for old vines to be spared and will allow us to supply the consumer with special wines”, Johann Rupert speaking at the launch of the Cape of Good Hope terroir specific wines at L’Ormarins last night.
This statement shows the passion and devotion of the individuals involved in the making of the Cape of Good Hope old vine range of wines. I was fortunate enough to attend the event on (somewhat) short notice and learnt quite a thing or two from the hosts.
Rosa Kruger has been involved in sourcing old vines since 2006 when Johann Rupert asked her to locate the perfect terroir for a new wine venture. Instead Rosa came across some 40 to 100 plus year old vines. Ms Kruger’s efforts paid off and through the financial backing of Mr Rupert she managed to identify 97 vineyards that are above 40 years old. Six of the 97 vineyards are older than 100 years.
Prof Alain Deloire (Chair of the Department of Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University) explained that old vines are also a very rare find in Europe and are considered to be precious. He continued by saying that, “the old vines we are celebrating today were able to speak to the soil and the sun for the past 80 to 100 years, they had no choice but to choose to survive or die”.
I was also fortunate enough to taste a few international wines made from old vines before tasting the newly released Cape of Good Hope wines. Among the selection of seven international wines was a wine made from 100 year old pre-phylloxera Grenache vines in Gigondas in Southern Rhone, France. The 2007 vintage of Perrin and Fils Gigondas Vieilles Vignes grows on sandy soils and has a very low yield.
After the international tasting we were lead to a different venue on L’Ormarins to taste the Cape of Good Hope wines. Johann Rupert explained that the Cape of Good Hope range is “an attempt to form partnerships with the owners of these old vines” and that the name of the range was chosen because they did not want a terroir to be specified.
The Cape of Good Hope terroir specific wines include:
Cape of Good Hope VAN LILL and VISSER Chenin Blanc 2010
Cape of Good Hope LAING Semillon 2010
Cape of Good Hope SERRURIA Chardonnay 2010
Cape of Good Hope PAREL VALLEI FARMSTEAD Merlot 2007
Cape of Good Hope BASSON Pinotage 2007
In conclusion I would like to share the following quote from Jan Boland Coetzee who said that we must realise that “the farmer is only a humble servant of nature”. For more information on where to reach old vineyard owners please have a look at www.rupertwines.com.
This article was first published on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.