2016 was a very good vintage in the Hemel & Aarde. We had great ripening conditions, moderate temperatures with cool nights. The nose of the wine is very exotic. Floral notes jump out before apricot and lime come to the fore. Hazelnut loiters in the background. Lazy bastard. The palate is a push and pull between sweet fruit and stern acidity. It feels young, wild and awkward now, but I believe this wine will resolve into something fantastic in bottle. Chris Alheit
About Hemelrand Vine Garden
The Cape has a largely Mediterranean climate, with some cooler regions resembling the windy maritime climate of Spanish Galicia. It stands to reason, that if we wish to make the best wines possible in the Cape, we should play to our strengths by planting grape varieties that suit our climate. Plenty of inspiration can be found throughout the Mediterranean basin and the Iberian Peninsula.
Therefore, based on this premise, Hans Evenhuis planted a vineyard on Hemelrand in the year 2010. We call it Vine Garden. The idea is to bottle the wine just as the vineyard produces it, effectively creating a white field blend that changes every year depending on the vintage conditions. The vineyard was planted in roughly the following proportions: 40 % Chardonnay, 30% Roussanne, 13% Verdelho, 12% Chenin blanc, 3% Viognier, and 2% Muscat Blanc a petit grains. However, as mentioned the proportions of the different grapes produced varies significantly each vintage.
Hemelrand it is situated at 360 meters above sea level, on gravelly clay, and Sandstone. It is cold and windy – a very marginal site. Grapes ripen slowly here. We have high hopes for this place.
The 2016 is predominantly Roussanne, followed by Chenin, Chardonnay, Verdelho, and a pinch of Muscat.
Hemelrand is planted to Roussanne, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Viognier and Muscat. We bottle this wine just as the vineyard produces it, essentially creating a field blend. Proportions will vary every vintage because of climatic conditions. The primary concept is “one place, one wine”.