Clairette Blanche is a variety that has a very long history not only in Stellenbosch, but in South Africa. Sadly due to popular demand of other varieties, a lot of it was ripped out. Luckily this little block in the Polkadraai is still in the ground and is said to be one of, if not the last block in Stellenbosch. Naturally, wanting to make wines from Stellenbosch it was a no-brainer to make a wine from these grapes.
In the cellar Mick makes the wine in two different 'styles'. One component he whole bunch presses straight to old neutral barrels for fermentation. The other portion of the grapes is de-stemmed and fermented in open top stainless steel tanks on the skins. Gentle pumpovers throughout fermentation are all that is done and once dry (around 10-12 days) he drains and presses to old neutral barrels for maturation.
There’s a slight waxy quality to the otherwise shy nose but the palate shows surprising depth and texture given its remarkably low alcohol. This is not a primary fruit bomb but look hard enough and you’ll find notes of lime and green apple. “Saline” is becoming an over-used term but this wine definitely has that character, too.
- Region: Stellenbosch
- Varietal: 100% Clairette Blanche
- Vintage: 2015
- Vineyard: Eikenhof Vineyard
- Vine Age: 35-40 years old
- Yield: 1.7 tons per acre
- Soil Type: Sandy Profile with Decomposed Granite
- Oak: 10 months in neutral French tonneau
- Production: 350 cases
Many of the photos you see of South African vineyards – positioned in front of striking granite mountains,–are from the Stellenbosch area. It contains the most developed vineyares; it is home to an important wine University (University of Stellenbosch); and it is the center of wine tourism. In short, Stellenbosch is to South African wine much like Napa is to... Learn More »
Craven Wines is a winemaking collaboration between husband-and-wife team Mick and Jeanine Craven. Mick is an Aussie currently working as lead assitant winemaker at Mulderbosch during the day; Jeanine is a Saffa, and they met in California 'dragging hoses' in Sonoma for harvest in 2007. After both having taken to the text books at their respective universities, they decided to hit the road, see lots of things, work in lots of places and try and learn as much as possible from this massive wine world. After travelling across the world together for four years and learning about wines in Australia... Learn More »
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