It’s pretty uncommon to see Vermentino as a single-varietal bottling out of South Africa, but here, Sakkie does the grape justice with an exquisitely named wine. (Here’s your vocabulary tidbit of the day: an ‘erf’ is a plot of land usually about half an acre in size). The Vermentino is sourced from a small patch of vines (about, say, the size of an erf) planted on nematode-resistant Ramsey rootstocks in the sandy soils of Koekenaap, just 10 miles from the chilly Atlantic Ocean. Sakkie’s signature style is evident in this wine with its distinct maritime character. The label is also uniquely branded, depicting Sakkie’s grandfather playing his guitar like an Afrikaans Johnny Cash in front of their old farmhouse in 1966, which we suspect was also grown on a sand erf. We could say ‘erf’ all day long. Erf.
The 2022 Sand Erf was harvested in two separate parcels, one seeing 12 hours of skin contact before pressing. After one month of spontaneous fermentation, the wine was placed in 4th fill 79-gallon barrels for five months of aging with regular lees stirring. The only addition is a touch of sulfur; no fining or filtering.