The inspiration for unlocking the fruit perfumed beauty of Grenache comes from the Northern Hemisphere where our winemakers spent time working with this variety. The grapes for Project Z Grenache were sourced from an old bush vine vineyard in the cool climate region of Darling on the Cape West Coast. Growing untamed and unbridled in sandy soils and subjected to the maritime airflow off the Atlantic Ocean, the vineyard was selected for its ability to grow grapes offering a superior expression of the site’s unique geography. Fermentation in Italian clay amphorae with a further 12 months of maturation captures the essence of this inimitable vineyard in a red wine of singular personality exuding freshness, focus and texture.
Old bush-vine vineyard in Darling on the Cape West Coast.
After four consecutive dry winter seasons (2015-2018) the excellent rainfall in 2019 did manage to offer some relief. The effect of additional water could be seen immediately in the vineyards and we had a particularly good growing season. The crop returned to an almost normal level, and the good growing conditions and vine health set the scene and created expectations for an outstanding harvest. The better rainfall over the winter period compared to the preceding seasons had a very positive influence on the harvest but on the downside we had rather moderate winter temperatures which did lead to some uneven bud-break in the early season, and a much earlier start to the growing season than normal. The moderate winter was fortunately followed by a relative cool spring which allowed the growing pattern to even out a bit even though the growing season remained earlier than normal. Due to the good growing conditions the vines grew a bit more vigorously which meant our viticulture team really had to pay careful attention to the canopy management practices making sure the fruit stays healthy and ensure good even ripening. The harvest itself started early which was expected but it was also a quite compressed harvest that saw several red varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, ripening much earlier than normal. The first part of the harvest was relatively cool and ideal for harvesting the white cultivars at optimal ripeness yet retaining fresh acidity, but the latter half of the growing season was reasonably warm with only a few heat spikes and no major heat waves. This coupled with a few light rainfall events allowed for good even ripening albeit a little earlier than anticipated. We are very happy with the natural balance and healthy acidities we saw in the grapes this year. Once again, our Chenin blanc looks very promising and the red wines show great fruit purity and concentration.
Fermented in Italian clay amphorae with a further 12 months maturation.
- Grilled and Roasted Red Meats
- Mature Strong Cheeses