De Grendel Op die Berg Chardonnay 2013

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True to his view that quality is a journey, not a goal, De Grendel cellar master Charles Hopkins took his time to craft this classically styled chardonnay, allowing the wine itself to show the way. Made with grapes from the vineyards on a Witzenberg apple farm on the Ceres Plateau, the journey of De Grendel Op die Berg Chardonnay was serendipitous. The fact that the grapes come from a vineyard on top of the Witzenberg Mountains, has special significance for us”, says De Villiers Graaff, director of De Grendel Wines. “The family has a long history in Ceres, starting with my great uncle Dawie, and now cousin Pieter and brother Robert farming there. The area is unique in the Western Cape and a perfect terroir for chardonnay grapes. Hopkins explains furthermore: “While we grow chardonnay at De Grendel, the varietal was also exclusively grown for our Winifred white blend by apple farmer Pieter Graaff. The conditions on this apple farm proved to be perfect. Cultivated at very high altitude (964m) in soft shale, together with very cold temperatures ideal for late ripening, the grapes captured all the positive characteristics needed to make a benchmark chardonnay. It was simply too exceptional to be blended in, leading to our decision to focus on this wine, rather than continuing with the much-loved Winifred blend.” Hopkins and his team took their time in getting it right, tinkering with the 2012 harvest in small tanks and barrels, adjusting this, adjusting that, playing with length on the lees and malolactic fermentation, to determine the direction the wine wanted to go. “With the 2013 harvest we believe we nailed it, launching De Grendel Op die Berg Chardonnay 2013.” The wine has a bright green to straw hue. On the nose citrus flavours of grapefruit and marmalade are supported by soft vanilla undertones on the palate. Great length and weight in the structure of the wine results in an ideal food partner. De Grendel Op die Berg Chardonnay 2013De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2013 Pack shotwitzenberg-1964is available at De Grendel cellar and tasting room, and online through shop.degrendelwineclub.co.za. Limited numbers are available to club members, and at selected specialist wine shops. Cellar door price: R150

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