Elgin, South Africa
Winemaker Julien Schaal is originally from Alsace, but fell in love with South Africa while working the 2003 harvest in Hermanus. Returning the following year he cemented his friendship with Gordon Newton Johnson - owner of the Newton Johnson vineyards in the Hemel-en Aarde Valley. After a late night, and a few of the obligatory brandies, he was persuaded use all his savings to start a new venture… His first vintage was in 2005 and since then has grown every year. He still spends time in Alsace producing Riesling Grand Cru – and shuttles between France and South Africa following the seasons.
The grapes used for this wine come exclusively from Elgin – the Cape's coolest viticultural area. The vineyards have a unique climate and topography, consisting of an upland basin plateau, surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. The terroir is very stony and mixed with red clay, and Julien Schaal endeavours to retain the minerality and freshness from this terroir by using a very gentle winemaking process.
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