Sitting around a ‘kuier-fire’ in the heart of Doringaai, many stories get shared and tales told. The general rule of thumb is that the longer the night goes on, the longer the tales become.
Some may advise to ‘take it with a pinch of salt’, an old English idiom from the 17th century. Which brings to mind one of the tales being relayed about unique collection of sheep in the heart of the Welsh countryside, which are specially reared on the salt marshes.
The unique environment where the sheep graze gives the meat its distinctive and very special flavour that is so sought after by connoisseurs of fine meat, and is applauded by top chefs and restaurateurs alike. This award winning Welsh Lamb is of the highest quality.
This same sought after distinctiveness could be said of the wines grown in our vineyards. A unique environment of their own, 500m from the Atlantic ocean creates the very same effect found on the salt marsh of the Welsh countryside.
Not many vineyards can claim to be close to the sea and the Atlantic ocean has a marvelous effect on our wines. 500m of South African fynbos separates the coast from our vineyards.
Every day, the cold Atlantic waves crash against the coastal cliffs, causing a misty haze that rises up and is gently carried over our vines. The salt crystals in the mist gets absorbed by, not only the vineyard soil, but by the very grapes themselves.
The addition of this salt enhances the natural characteristics of the Sauvignon Blanc, intensifying the nose and palate without overwhelming it. At the same time, the alkalinity prevents certain mildews to form on the vines, allowing us to follow a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to making wine, without having to use unnecessary chemicals to sustain our vineyards.
But wait, there is more…
Our proximity to the sea has an additional benefit. The ocean acts as a regulator, causing a micro climate with very stable and cool temperatures. This in turn causes our grapes to ripen and mature more slowly than vineyards in hotter regions, which causes natural high acidity and low ph. This means that we do not need to add unnecessary tartaric acids to our wines to create that lingering sensation on your palate, and it is also the reason why our Sauvignon Blanc ages so well (5-7years).
And the tale continues…
Another benefit that we have from having the Atlantic ocean on our door step, is that we can use it’s cold waters to cool down our wines. We run stainless steel pipes though the sea water which averages out to about 13°c. Being a great conductor, these stainless steel pipes cool down the fresh water which gets pumped though our cooling sleeves in the tanks which in turn cools down the wines. This allows us to use less electricity, greatly reducing our carbon footprint.
Considering all these facts, it is understandable why we say our wines are “forged of the earth, tempered by the sea”.
Pass me the salt.