Survival is everything in the Swartland. ‘Springdoring’ or ‘spiny sandburs, AKA Cenchrus incertus), the resolute hitchhiker, is quick to attach and slow to let go. But not quite as stubborn and persistent as the hardened, old bushvine Chenin Blanc. Stephanie and Etienne had been searching for the final piece of their Chenin story and knew it had to include the epicenter of the Swartland. After a chat with grower Theuns Müller, they knew the Uitvlug Farm in the Joubertskloof valley of the Paardeberg was the subject of that story. The bushvines were planted in 1982 on a granitic sand, east facing slope located at 975 feet in elevation. It has been dry-farmed for the better of the past decade with minimal invervention in the vineyard other than covercrops, pruning and a bit of leaf work. They share this block with Lukas Van Loggerenberg as it is a component of Lukas’ ‘Trust Your Gut’ Chenin Blanc.
The grapes were handpicked, delicately whole-bunch pressed with only the free-run juice being used, directly to third-passage French oak barrels. Fermentation kicked off immediately and frequent battonage was implemented over the first month and then the wine was left to rest on the settled lees for an addtional 10 months. It was bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.