Nestled between the slopes of the Groot Drakenstein mountains in the Franschhoek Valley, lies the Bellingham Homestead. The Homestead Series brings homage to the Bellingham approach to excellence, innovation and quality winemaking through region-specific sourcing of grapes and showcasing the most interesting varietals South Africa has to offer. Though the drought, the worst in living memory, was broken during the Winter of 2018, the crop for The Homestead Wines was down between 15% & 25%. The grapes for the Old Orchard Chenin Blanc come from old Perdeberg & Paarl bush vine vineyards. These 25-year-old vines were planted in weathered shale soils with high clay content. They are dryland farmed and have become well buffered against drought over the years. These prized vineyards are meticulously managed for premium quality which includes shoot thinning for optimal growth and crop control.
The grapes for the Bellingham The Homestead Series The Old Orchard Chenin Blanc 2019 were hand harvested picked in middle of February from 25-year-old dry land bush vines. They were whole bunch pressed and the juice cold settled before being taken to 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels for fermentation. A portion of the wine is wild fermented for a fuller mouthfeel and more density on the palate, while the rest is inoculated with a cultured yeast strain. Some of the finest barrel-matured Chenin Blanc batches in the Bellingham cellar make their way into this wine, blended with a more fruit- forward unoaked component. Lees stirring with a wooden baton – also known as batonnage – was performed once a month for several months to enhance flavour extraction and complexity The wine were then blended and prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a crew cap. The label is classic Bellingham with an etching of the Homestead on the label. In the glass, the wine is a pale straw gold with flashes of platinum. The aromas segue into the palate with whiffs of ripe white fleshed peaches, guava and tropical fruits. After these, there are flavours of fynbos honey, lime jelly marmalade, toasted brioche and rough-skinned lemons which go into the long, satisfying and gently waning textured and creamy after taste. This is Chenin at its finest and even handedly priced on the shelves of your local Pick n Pay. This is a wine for now drinking, though will reward you amply after a couple of years of cool cellaring.
The Bellingham The Homestead Series The Old Orchard Chenin Blanc 2019 is a fine food wine. Serve it chilled but not too cold, to give you maximum drinking pleasure. I always feel that a feisty vegetarian dish is perfect with this wine at lunch time. Hein van Tonder’s Zucchini & Pea Fritters with Feta & Green Goddess Dressing is a perfect partner. Click HERE to go to his website for the recipe.
Read more about Hein van Tonder – CLICK HERE
For more information on Bellingham Wines – CLICK HERE