Thursday, March 10, 2016

Restless River in the Hemel en Aarde Valley

They have coots in the farm dam
and lots of the indigenous blue water lilies
A well thought out indigenous waterwise garden
Although it looks like an old building, Anne and her husband Craig built this house when they bought the farm in 2004. They have 20 hectares. Some of the vines were already there when they arrived, having been planted by the previous owner in 1999, making them the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay vines in the valley.
Lightning must have hit this gum tree and cleaved it
Wonderful views of the Babylonstoren mountains
It's not all fun!
The small barrel cellar, which contains the currently fermenting Chardonnay. this will stay in barrel for 8 - 9 months. The Cabernet Sauvignon is fermented on the skins in open tanks then fed to the basket press and then into 225 L French oak barrels, some new.  Since 2013 the wines have scored 4 or 4.5 stars in Platter
and some recreational equipment
It's going through a nice slow fermentation
The house and wine cellar fit so well in the landscape.  In 2013 they planted a single vineyard registered block of Pinot Noir. Craig is self taught and makes all the wine himself. He is committed to making only single varietal wines.
We went inside to taste the two wines currently available. The annual production is very small and normally sells out in 3 to 6 months. They are sold in Cape Town at Wine Concepts but most sells from the farm, in good restaurants like the Test Kitchen and La Colombe or overseas
These are the current releases
The 2013 Chardonnay is very French in character, rather like a Chablis, creamy and leesy with limes and melons on the nose, crisp minerality with some soft chalky tannins, the palate has limes, lemons and some soft wood notes on the end.  It has elegance and quality. 3866 bottles, all numbered, it sells for R275 a bottle. We liked it immensely
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has cooked plums and herbs on the nose with cassis and plums on the palate and some tight chalky tannins and good wood so it needs time.  It sells for R290 a bottle
Some beautiful wall plates a couple of centuries old.
The outside veranda
Its a very elegant place to taste good wine
Their characterful Staffie, Frankie
The ripening Cabernet Sauvignon looks great and nearly ready to pick
Wonderful colour.  Anne gave us the two opened bottles to take home and we really enjoyed them with our supper that night.  Thank you for taking time to show us your wines
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus
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