About the wine
The Chenin Blanc is whole bunch pressed and the juice settled in tanks at 5°C for 48 hours. The clear juice is racked, separately inoculated and fermented between 11-14 °C. After alcoholic fermentation, the wines are racked and matured for 4 months on the fine lees, which are stirred every week to add greater richness to the palate. The wine is then cold stabilised and filtered prior to bottling.
About the producer
Nestled at the foot of the mountain after which it is named, Saronsberg is a contemporary addition to the rich heritage of Tulbagh Valley, comprising 40 hectares of vines: two-thirds red, one-third white. Created by Nick van Huyssteen in 2002, Saronsberg is managed by winemaker Dewaldt Heyns and it is clear to see his love of Rhône winemaking styles in the two Shiraz-dominated wines under the ‘Artspace’ label, which are cracking value for the price. Dewaldt has worked in Sonoma, USA, and also in France, which he says broadened his horizons (he is a member of the prestigious Cape Wine Guild). This proved to be a winning combination, with Saronsberg performing constantly at the highest level, receiving numerous awards since its maiden vintage.
The Tulbagh region lies between three mountain ranges: the Witzenberg, the Obiqua and the Winterhoek. The only route that lies open is towards the sea, across the Breede Valley situated 80km off the Atlantic coast, with a continental climate of Mediterranean summers and cold, wet winters. Soils can be broadly classified into 3 categories depending on their location: 1) Red/ yellow clay loam with some fine gravel on the slopes of the Saronsberg Mountain; 2) Deposited boulder beds and sandy-loam alluvial soils surrounding the Klein Berg River and 3) Mid-valley shales towards the centre of the Tulbagh Valley. The bulk of the vineyards are planted in the mid-valley medium deep soils that have developed from Malmesbury shale. The aspect is roughly east, with an average height of 160-185m. The rainfall is 450-550mm per year (June to September). The general wind direction is southeasterly, providing a cooling effect in the afternoons.
All wines grapes are handpicked in the early morning, then cooled to 4°C. A majority of the wines are Bunch sorted, destemmed & berry sorted on vibration tables (unless stated otherwise).