The ‘rich earth’ or ‘terra lux’ of South Africa, and in particular Elgin, is ultimately what defines every wine Francois Haasbroek produces. Elgin is windy, remote and quite cold. The area is renowned for orchard fruit and plantings of apples far surpass grapes here. That being said, it is a region that has become a standard bearer for cool-climate viticulture and varieties. Francois started working with the Wilson family’s ‘Lothian Vineyard’ in 2015, and in 2018 is 100% of the component of ‘Terra Lux.’ Francois says, ”I personally enjoy wines built on natural acidity & grape tannin, not plastered under layers of oak with countless additions and manipulations forced upon it.” This is widely apparent in this delicate but impactful Pinot Noir.
The fruit was handpicked from a single one-acre block in early-March under the sunrise. The grapes were placed into three separate one-ton fermenters with varying degrees of stem inclusion: 100% destemmed – 2/3 whole-cluster – 1/3 whole-cluster. Fermentation kicked off on its own and no additions were needed. Hand plunging was utilized over the course of ten days for gentle extraction but without pulling the astringencies from the seeds or stalks. Once the lots went dry the wine stayed an additional three days on skins prior to being pressed directly to barrel. The wine sat on the fine lees for 14 months prior to being racked to tank and bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur. The bottled were aged for an additional eight months prior to being released.