Wine

About Our Wine

Cecilia Wines

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.

Pinotage

The bush vines from which Cecilia Pinotage is vinified is located on the northern edge of the Skurfberg plateau in the Olifant’s river at 400 metres altitude and are between 30 and 50 years old. The topsoil is sandy with good drainage properties in the subsoil. These relatively light soils, in conjunction with the old age of the bush vines, yield small quantities of grapes at harvest and have the owner threatening to rip out the vineyard after each vintage. Yet, once the small, concentrated berries become wine, the depth of flavour and the fine quality of the tannins amazes one year after year. This consistency in character is the hallmark of a high quality terroir.

Syrah

Cecilia Syrah is vinified from a vineyard close to the small town of Darling approximately twenty kilometers from the cold Atlantic Ocean. The deep, red loam soils are derived from granite and have excellent water holding capacity which, combined with daily ocean breezes, facilitates effective ripening and flavour development. As in the case of the Pinotage, these bush vines yield grapes that are densely coloured and highly concentrated. This concentration in the berries translates to an opaque colour in the glass as well as layer upon layer of flavour, reminiscent of Syrah from the northern Rhône.

Chenin Blanc

Cecilia Chenin Blanc comes from a bush vine vineyard that was planted in 1962 on the Piekenierskloof plateau in sandy loam soils. The vines are ungrafted and were part of a recent research study by Interloire in France, which showed that some of our old Chenins are selections that are already extinct in France. This particular vineyard tested negative for some of the common viruses present in South African vineyards, proof of exceptional planting material.

While Piekenierskloof is further from the ocean than Darling for example, around 50 kilometers as the crow flies, the high elevation of 620 meters expedites cooling in the evenings during the growing season. This helps to retain the natural acidity of the grapes as well as to promote a vibrancy of stone fruit flavour in the final wine.

Wind Band Wines

Another recent addition is Cecilia Wine’s sister range of wines, Wind Band. Since each wine under the Cecilia label comes from an individual vineyard and has a very unique story to tell they are likely to be savoured on special occasions with dear friends.

This brought about the birth of Wind Band – a small range of lifestyle wines that can be enjoyed every day of the week by anyone, from a leisure wine drinker to a wine connoisseur. The sound waves depicted on the label are symbolic of the universal element of various styles of music, from classic through jazz and blues, all the way to rock and everything else in between.

White, Red and Rosé

The white blend consists of Chenin with a touch of Viognier and Chardonnay whereas the red blend is a combination of partners Shiraz and Grenache Noir. The rosé is a ‘pastiche’ – a copy in admiration – of Bandol rosé in Provence that is made from Mourvedré and Grenache Noir.