A few years ago a conversation with well-known South African viticulturist Rosa Kruger lead to the vinification of old Pinotage bush vines for Cecilia Wines. For several years this Pinotage was the only wine in the portfolio, but recently the Pinotage was joined with a Syrah from Darling and a Chenin Blanc from Piekenierskloof.
The common denominators between the three vineyards are dry land bush vines from elevated sites and vines older than thirty years of age. The absence of a wire or trellis system fits in with the philosophy of minimal intervention in the making of the wines. If one adds dry land farming to the equation, as is the case, there is even less external influence allowing the grapes to be the result of the vine’s own, free growing nature, combined with the influence of its unaltered, physical environment. In keeping with this philosophy oak treatment is done very carefully and only to allow the wines to settle and integrate, not to impart oak flavour or toasty characteristics.