In the short two years that Banele has been bottling wines under his Tembela brand, he’s had two different white wine releases. In 2020, he released Verdelho, which will always hold a special place in his heart because on a day he was visiting the vineyard, he got the call that his mother, Tembela, had passed away. All seasons come to pass; Banele wasn’t able to secure the Verdelho vineyard for a second vintage, and thus turned to Chenin Blanc. He sources this fruit from the old bush vine Altydgedacht Vineyard in Durbanville, an area that is much more known for Sauvignon Blanc. In this cooler climate, Chenin Blanc expresses its brighter, fresher side, and is a nice alternative to some of the richer Chenin Blancs that can come out of South Africa’s warmer areas, like the Swartland.
The grapes were 100% whole-bunch pressed and then the juice was allowed to settle overnight. The clear juice was racked off the solids, and then was sent to concrete eggs to ferment. The wine stayed there for 1 month, after which it was sent to old 225L barrels for 9 months. Bottling occurred after those 10 months without fining or filtering and just a 38 ppm dose of sulfur.