Swartland Winery introduces unusual varieties to its portfolio

SWW HouseSwartland Winery House

I remember Swartland Wines from way back when.  In the late 1980s we used to drink their Tinta Barocca and it was the go to wine for making sauces in our restaurants too.

They continue with the most exciting wine trends in South African, the consumption of single variety bottlings of unusual grape varieties – notably Rhône-style white and red wines, made from old or dryland vines.

Vines 2Shiraz Bush Vines

Swartland Winery, situated north of Cape Town, near Malmesbury, has been embracing this trend for years with wines under this label made from vineyards cultivated from grapes grown on dryland in the traditional bush vine style. Untrellised, these vines are left to grow naturally with minimal human intervention. The dry land conditions result in lower yields of smaller berries with a more concentrated structure that, in a natural way, produce wines with ripe tannins, concentrated aromas and bold fruit flavours – offering excellent raw material for the cellar master to produce a superb choice of outstanding wines.

VineyardsView towards Table Mountain

Swartland Winery introduced their Limited Release label to the local market recognising the need to reward local wine drinkers who seek to experience wines reflective of the unique Swartland terroir. This series of wines, consisting of a Viognier a Mourvèdre and a Roussanne, celebrates Rhône varieties, and it is a range which stands out for offering wine consumers exclusive and limited bottlings from selective vineyard pockets in this popular wine region.

Two ranges have been launched under a striking, modern label, with the characteristic ‘bush vine’ on the Limited release and Cape Dutch house on the Winemakers collection range.

Swartland - Ldt Release - Roussanne - 2015Swartland Limited Release Roussanne 2015

The Swartland Limited Release Roussanne 2015, is a small bottling of only 6 000 bottles, made from grapes grown on dry land bush vines, grown on granite soils with yields of only 5,5 ton per hectare.  We really enjoyed this wine with its seductive windfall citrus and piel de sapo melon and ripe white fleshed peaches. Lovely long aftertaste layered with honeyed acidity and along lingering aftertastes with kelp notes. Gentle curries with low chili content are the ideal partner – even a vegetarian curry.

 Bush VineClassic Swartland Bush Vine

“The Limited Release range was born after a wide search for the most expressive vineyards in the Swartland led us to characterful bush vine sites which yield fruit of distinctive depth and concentration,” says Sean Nieuwoudt, winemaker and head of marketing at Swartland Winery, adding, “This range was originally exclusively available to our international market, but we recognised that there is a lively appreciation for unusual varieties, notably those from the Swartland, and it is a trend which isn’t limited to international markets only. Global and local wine commentators have shown appreciation for the Swartland approach, one which is cultivated on home soil and one which we would like to share quite widely in our local market too.”

GrapesGrapes arriving at the Cellar

“Our Winemaker’s Collection offers enjoyment for those seeking a more classic wine drinking experience, while wines in this range still express the unique Swartland terroir, the varieties are less unusual,” says Nieuwoudt. This collection includes red and white varieties, with Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Bukketraube and Blanc de Noir comprising the latter and Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot, Tinta Barocca and Syrah the former.

WM SyrahSwartland Winemaker’s Collection Syrah 2015

The Swartland Winemaker’s Collection Syrah 2015 was one which we also enjoyed.  The wine has the classic Shiraz notes of plums and berries with notes of leather and a gentle grinding of pepper.  The tannins and oak are well woven into the wine and are in harmony with the fruit and acidity in the wine.

Visit the Home of Bush Vines – www.swartlandwinery.co.za

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