De Grendel Wine Estate is on the southwestern facing slopes of the Tygerberg Hills in the Durbanville Wine Appellation. Charles Hopkins, the Founding Winemaker has access to grapes outside this wine region. The De Grendel Cellar has access to grapes from their farms in the Witzenberg, where a special wine appellation, Op die Berg has been created. Here the wines grow in soft shale soils. The climate is Continental rather than Marine like the mother Estate. In the Witzenberg, it often snows in the Winter and the vineyards are covered in snow. Good time for the vines to rest in Winter and then prepare for the budding, grape formation, and in the case of the reds, veraison.
Handpicked at dawn, the grapes are taken to De Grendel where they are destemmed and crushed. The mash is then pressed lightly and allowed to cool settle over two nights. The juice was then taken to 225 litre French Oak Barrels of which a third were new and the reminder a third each of second and third fill Barrels. Aged on its lees with regular stirring known as Bâtonnage twice a week, Malolactic fermentation takes place in the barrel. The lees are stirred once a month thereafter. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle closer with a premium screw cap. The label is elegant in black and gold. In the glass, the wine is a pale lemony hay colour. The aromas are of citrus, lemons and pink grapefruit. Sweet apples and vanilla poached quince segue on to the palate which is rich and generous, has soft tannins and a long and gently waning silken aftertaste. Don’t chill too much. Impressive wine.
The De Grendel Op die Berg Chardonnay 2021 is a serious sipping wine. With food it is a gem. A perfect organic buttery roasted Chicken is the ideal partner. Here is the perfect Buttered Roast Chicken from Dianne Bibby. Click HERE for her recipe. The De Grendel Restaurant, under Chef Ian Bergh has some really exciting dishes on offer if you are in the vicinity.