Durbanville Hills is a collaboration between 9 wine farmers in the Valley around the winery in the small Durbanville Wine Appellation. Chenin Blanc grapes were sourced from the vineyards of 3 farms on the sides of the valley. One vineyard is on gravelly soil on a little hill. The soils in which they were planted, those on the valley floor with a high clay content. All the soils have good water retention, whilst the underlying shale prevents the soil from getting waterlogged. The vineyards, yielding around 10 tons per hectare, were harvested from mid to late February when the grapes were showing ripe, yellow colours. Once in the cellar the grapes were handled by White Wine Specialist Kobus Gerber were destemmed into 15-ton separators and the free-run juice was separated from the skins. The juice was racked to stainless steel tanks for fermentation after it was racked from the primary fermentation lees. The wine was then prepared for bottling after the sparkles are added.
From a clear glass Champagne shaped bottled and closed with natural cork held in place by a wire muzzle. The labelling is fun as is the intention of this wine. In the glass, the wine is a vibrant straw colour with lime green flashes while tiny bubbles rush headlong for the surface and form a crown round the edges. The aromas are of windfall citrus, white fleshed peaches and a mélange of melon and other fruits. The palate from entry is well balanced with the fruit and acidity going through to the long aftertaste. The aromas segue into the palate with the sappy peaches, sweet tropical limes and the full flavour of a fine ripe melon.
The Durbanville Hills Sparkling Demi Sec is an any time wine, not only for celebration. There is a recipe in Wine + Food, The art of the Perfect pairing, for a Smoked Snoek Salad with a Sweet Curry Dressing, a perfect partner. The book is available at all Distell Wineries…
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